Andy Ruiz Jr has admitted he is eyeing up a momentous fight with Deontay Wilder after defeating Luis Ortiz in an eliminator for the WBC title. Ruiz knocked down Ortiz three times on the way to a victory by unanimous decision in Los Angeles.

The Destroyer knocked down the 43-year-old Ortiz twice in the second round and again in the seventh, but the Cuban battled through a badly swollen left eye and punched more accurately during long stretches of relative inactivity for bot.

Wilder –who was ringside to watch Ruiz’s win – meanwhile returns to the ring next month in a separate WBC eliminator against Robert Helenius. And if the Bronze Bomber beats the 38-year-old, he would be in line to fight Ruiz for the right to challenge for Tyson Fury for the belt.

‘God willing he [Wilder] wins against Robert in October,’ Ruiz said after his victory. ‘Me and him are in the same organisation, I want to thank Al Haymon, he can make this fight happen and let’s do it, let’s get it on.’

Ruiz has already shown his willingness to go ahead with the fight against the 36-year-old if he wins, calling on Premier Boxing Champions boss Al Haymon to get a deal done.

Ruiz pulled off one of the bigger upsets in recent heavyweight history when he took Anthony Joshua’s three championship belts in 2019, only to lose them back to his British opponent six months later. 

Ruiz had fought just once since, but he got his head down again in training with hopes of getting another shot at the belts. ‘I do not want to be waiting,’ Ruiz said. ‘I want to fight at least three or four times a year. I’m hungry, man. I want to be a champion again.

‘It was very difficult,’ Ruiz added of the fight. ‘I was waiting for him to load up, and countering him when he did. It was a blessing we were able to be successful.’Wilder has not fought since losing his trilogy fight against WBC champion Fury in October last year.

But Wilder sent out a warning to the rest of the division that he is ready to put his best foot forward once more. Wilder said: ‘Deontay Wilder is back. We’re always looking for great exciting fights we love to give the fans. ‘So if that’s what is lined up next, I’ve got to handle business and after that, we can get it on.’

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