Andy Ruiz Jr duly came through his first outing in 17 months as he outpointed Chris Arreola in Carson, California – but what about his next fight?
The 31-year-old ‘Destroyer’ had to recover from a second-round knockdown to register a unanimous decision by scores of 117-110 and 118-109 twice on a FOX pay-per-view show at Dignity Health Sports Park.
Coming in at a trim (for him) 256lbs – 27lbs lighter than for his rematch loss to Anthony Joshua – Andy was energetic throughout and showcased once again the fastest hands in the heavyweight division.
As soon as the scorecards were announced and his hand was raised, talk moved on to who Ruiz will face next. And there are some intriguing possibilities.
Deontay Wilder vs Andy Ruiz Jr
This is a fight we’d absolutely love. The big-punching Wilder against the speed and volume provided by the smaller but faster Ruiz. Both men are with PBC and fight on FOX, so it is a fight that should be possible to make. Whether it is one Deontay would take straight away coming off a long absence since that devastating defeat by Tyson Fury is another matter entirely.
Andy Ruiz Jr vs Dillian Whyte
Another cracking scrap this one. A Transatlantic slugfest would almost certainly ensue with the speed of Andy combining with the brilliant brawling ability of Whyte. We’d expect a brutal evening if these two ever do get in the ring together. This one may be a little harder to make. Whyte’s recent fights have all aired on DAZN in the United States.
Andy Ruiz Jr vs Luis Ortiz
Another intriguing scrap. Ortiz may be getting on in years but he has still only been defeated twice – both times by Wilder in world title challenges. And both times he was comfortably ahead after outboxing ‘The Bronze Bomber’. A crossroads fight for both men if it happens. Ortiz would love it, and so would we.
Andy Ruiz Jr vs Chris Arreola 2
Arreola said he’d love a rematch after that loss to Ruiz, and Andy – who has huge respect for his fellow Californian – appeared to agree. But we’d be surprised to see it again and once the dust settles we’d imagine Team Ruiz will agree. That second-round knockdown apart, Andy was clearly the dominant fighter and the win was seldom in doubt from the halfway point. It was the perfect fight for Ruiz to return with, but now he needs to move onwards and upwards.