Report- Andy Ruiz Signed Deal To Fight Ortiz Before Triller Bout
It doesn’t seem that Triller and their “fight club” series will ever be able to get out of their own way. The latest is the report that the company, which has desperately tried to shake up boxing and how fights are broadcast by pairing them will musical act “battles,” has once again botched one of it’s own events. This time with former unified heavyweight champ, Andy Ruiz.
ESPN’s Mike Coppinger reported Friday afternoon that despite what Triller announced about Ruiz headlining for them fighting former MMA fighter Tyrone Spong in Mexico City in July, he actually had signed contract first with Premier Boxing Champions to fight veteran Luis Ortiz.
Sources: Andy Ruiz Jr. will fight Luis Ortiz next in a PBC heavyweight bout rather than Tyrone Spong despite a Triller announcement Wednesday of a July 16 bout in Mexico City. The ex-heavyweight champ signed to fight Ortiz before he signed to fight Sponghttps://t.co/XgR7NIZERq
— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) April 15, 2022
Ruiz, ESPN’s No. 5 heavyweight, apparently signed a contract to fight Luis Ortiz in a PBC heavyweight bout in late summer before he signed to meet Spong, sources told ESPN. Triller had announced the Ruiz-Spong bout on Wednesday.
Now, Ruiz (34-2, 22 KOs) will move forward with the summer matchup against Ortiz, sources said, a bout years in the making.
“We are working amicably with PBC to make sure Ruiz honors his obligations to both parties,” Triller Fight Club president David Tetreault told ESPN. “Had we known PBC intended to fight him prior, we would have never chosen this date.
“We enjoy a good relationship with PBC and we are currently working to identify an optimal date for rescheduling the fight. The date Triller lands on will be in collaboration with PBC and their calendar.”
It was earlier this week that Triller, almost embarrassingly now, made their announcement that Ruiz would be in their July 16th main event against Spong in a famed Mexico bull fighting arena.
However, Ortiz, who’s been a top 10 contender in the heavyweight division, including two TKO losses to former WBC titleholder Deontay Wilder, quickly balked at that.
Ortiz told a Spanish speaking newspaper El Nuevo Herald,
“He’s a coward, He knew how badly I wanted to fight him, but he decided to take an easy route. … A fight is coming that nobody is interested in and that is useless in his career.”
Now, the proposed Ruiz-Spong bout is off. And, it’s the latest gaffe for Triller.
As our Dan Rafael wrote earlier this week, the final chapter of the George Kambosos-Teofimo Lopez botched world lightweight title promotion from late last year was finalized. That’s when Triller lost their multi-million dollar appeal with the IBF after Triller defaulted it’s deposit on it’s obligations to stage the bout in a timely fashion.
This follows Triller being unable to continue it’s “legends series” with the likes of former undisputed heavyweight champ Mike Tyson. Tyson fought fellow legend Roy Jones, Jr. in November 2020 without any fans present due to the Covid 19 pandemic. Still, it had been billed by Triller as a successful PPV.
Yet, plans to have Tyson fight any subsequent bouts for them have mired in a financial dispute with Tyson and he’s never fought a follow up fight for them (or anyone else) since.
And, that brings us back to Ruiz, who hasn’t fought in nearly a year, since he decisioned veteran Chris Arreola in a PBC/Showtime main event. And, he’s subsequently had knee surgery after an injury in training.
All the while, Ruiz knowingly had signed to fight Ortiz next…and apparently didn’t share that info with Triller.