Andy Ruiz vs Luis Ortiz next? Take that tune-up first, youngin
For months, we've heard rumors about a possible match-up between former unified heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz and top 10 heavyweight Luis Ortiz who, despite being nearly 41, is still one of the most avoided fighters in the sport.
Boxing of course, is still in limbo due to the Coronavirus epidemic. However, when it passes Ruiz would be ill-advised to face Ortiz straight away.
For starters, Luis Ortiz is a monster who is better and more accomplished than at least 32 of Ruiz's previous 33 opponents. Who cares if he's 41?
But even more consequential is Andy's state of mind. Since his upset of Anthony Joshua to win a share of the heavyweight title in June, Ruiz has been plagued by the drama and pressure that often accompanies fame and success, including weight gain and motivation issues and trainer disputes.
Ruiz, 30, has certainly seen the downside of fame and fortune and, despite losing to Joshua in the rematch, seems to still be adjusting to his new lifestyle. Moreover, he's looking for a new trainer.
Does Andy really want a piece of the Cuban next?
“It gives me great joy that people think a little more about me," Ortiz recently told BoxingScene.com.
"I am determined to continue my career. All of those people who are out there, not only Ruiz, but Kownacki the one who lost, Povetkin, Dillian Whyte ... they all want to fight for world titles, but first they have to go through King Kong. I am the metal test," Ortiz said.
"Why does [Ruiz need] a tune up fight? We as boxers need opponents to help us lift our name. I prefer to always fight against people with marksmanship and not those who are below my level. And now more than ever I am dangerous for anyone who wants to rise in this division. I feel young, my children are the engine of my career."
Ortiz wants Ruiz straight away while Andy previously stated he wanted a tune-up first. And while both guys are coming off losses, it's clear who has more confidence at this moment.
That stated, Ruiz is wise for realizing the Cuban shouldn't be his first foe after a longer than usual layoff and under a new head trainer (whoever that'll be) because he needs to find the direction, discipline and hunger he once had.
A tune-up would be just what the doctor ordered. It would give him time to acclimate to his new trainer and allow his team to assess where Andy is in his progression as an elite level heavyweight.
A year ago, Ruiz was ready for Ortiz; But he's unraveled a bit since orchestrating his massive upset of AJ and seems vulnerable to being humbled in the ring once again should he face an elite level foe next.
Make no mistake, Ruiz vs Ortiz is one of the best match-ups in the heavyweight division if Andy is motivated and disciplined.