Andy Ruiz Jr. has been the target of Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn and this time the opponent would be heavyweight Dillian Whyte.
Mike Coppinger of The Athletic reported on Tuesday that Hearn made a seven-figure offer to Ruiz to take on the WBC mandatory opponent on March 28 or early April in the United Kingdom.
Sources: Dillian Whyte remains engaged in negotiations with Alexander Povetkin for a bout in the same timeframe in the U.K. Whyte appears destined for a significant fight in the spring regardless https://t.co/B9bOS7C93w
— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) January 14, 2020
Ruiz notoriously tweeted back in July of last year leading up his rematch with Anthony Joshua last year that he had some reservations over in the United Kingdom, once Whyte was at the time popped for a banned substance.
— AndyRuizjr (@Andy_destroyer1) July 24, 2019
Ruiz did later “walk that back” in the press conferences leading up to the Joshua rematch that took place in Saudi Arabia last December. In that contest, it’s well documented that he came in at 283 pounds and was beaten soundly by Joshua for unanimous decision.
“I would’ve been there,” Ruiz stated following a press conference in Manhattan leading up to his rematch with Anthony Joshua. “If the number would’ve been right, I would’ve been there, and I would’ve given him the chance. There’s no reason to be hiding [from his] country. He came all the way over here. I would’ve gone back over there, but they made it in Saudi Arabia. So, I think that was a fair choice.”
Coppinger also mentioned that Whyte is still in talks to have a match with Alexander Povetkin, as I wrote about last week here.
We’ll see for Ruiz, if the seven-figure deal will be enough motivation to challenge Whyte. as he looks to be on the redemption trail after his poor showing against Joshua. Hearn has stated even on his own accord that it may not be likely but was going to give it a shot.
It is believed that Hearn is trying to nail down a heavyweight contender showdown between WBO #1 contender Oleksandr Usyk and British former World Title challenger, Derrick Chisora for a March date. It’s likely that he would want to put the proposed Ruiz-Whyte fight on the same show.
A seven-figure deal to go across the pond from California seems to be a little more than a “Hail Mary” for sure.