By Craig Page: Eddie Hearn says he’s picking Andy Ruiz Jr to beat Deontay Wilder next if the ‘Bronze Bomber’ wins against Robert Helenius on Saturday night in New York.
Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KOs) mentioned wanting to face former unified heavyweight champion Ruiz (35-2, 22 KOs) next if he gets after Helenius and is not offering a title shot with the IBF, WBA & WBO champion. Oleksandr Usyk.
Wilder vs. Ruiz will be the last WBC title eliminator to oblige champion Tyson Fury. This would be a good fight, and Wilder has already said he wants to fight Ruiz next if he doesn’t get a shot against Usyk.
Hearn knows from experience how good Ruiz Jr is, considering he knocked out former heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in the seventh round in their first fight in June 2018 and has begun to fall behind the elite fighter.
In Wilder’s case, he already has his hands full with Helenius on Saturday, and he may not win. Helenius is certainly as dangerous in a Wilder fight as Andy Ruiz will be, especially as the Bronze Bomber has looked in his last two fights against Tyson Fury.
Wilder looked awful in both fights and was frustrated by Fury. It could be a big mistake on Wilder’s part to choose Helenius as his opponent for his comeback fight.
“Not really,” Eddie Hearn told DAZN Boxing when asked if Joshua ever mentioned the trilogy fight with Andy Ruiz Jr. “No, yes [Anthony Joshua] He won every round in the final battle [with Ruiz in December 2019].
“I saw Andy Ruiz call out Tyson Fury. Nobody fights Andy Ruiz in a hurry. He’s a little bit, and we had that in Madison Square Garden, and AJ dealt with him in Saudi Arabia. It’s a hand.
“I think Wilder-Ruiz is a great fight. We’ll see what happens in the Helenius fight, but if Wilder wins this fight, I’d like to see Andy Ruiz and Deontay Wilder.
“I’m looking forward to Andy Ruiz in this fight. He’s a small guy, who lands those shots on top if he can get inside with Wilder. Wilder can beat anybody on his day. He’s got a lot of power.
“You talk about it [Wilder] doing well with Spilka. I mean, Derek Chisora iced Spilka in three rounds. I was surprised,” said Hearn when told that Wilder prefers to short fighters.
“Did you set it easy? He [Wilder] undefeated in any round against Luis Ortiz in the fight. He also almost stopped in this fight [Wilder in his first fight with Ortiz]. He went out.
“What I’m saying is that Andy Ruiz is a big dream for tall guys because his moves are so good, and it’s hard for smaller guys to get into it.
“He gets inside, and he’s not afraid to leave them when he gets there, and he’s not afraid to make a trade. But Wilder has the ability to knock out anyone, including Andy Ruiz, but it’s a big fight,” Hearn said.