When boxing returns from its hiatus because of the COVID-19 global pandemic, one of the more intriguing questions is what will be next for former unified heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr.
After pulling off one of the biggest upsets in boxing history in June when Ruiz stopped Anthony Joshua to capture the IBF, WBA (Super) and WBO titles, Ruiz lost a one-sided unanimous decision to Joshua in their rematch back in December and hasn't returned since. Ruiz (33-2, 22 KOs) went on to fire head trainer Manny Robles and is currently looking for a new lead for his corner.
In the meantime, Ruiz has been publicly offered one bout since losing the gold, and that was a chance to face interim WBC titlist, Dillian Whyte. In an interview with his promoter Eddie Hearn on the Matchroom Boxing YouTube channel, the brash Englishman claims that Ruiz was offered $5 million to meet him in the United States.
"I think Andy Ruiz might be another (James) 'Buster' Douglas," Whyte said. "Shine once, and that's it. The lifestyle that he's enjoyed because let's be honest, we offered him $5 million to fight me in America, in his hometown. He's turning down that kind of money to fight me, and all these other guys say I'm garbage.
"He beat Joshua. He should take a fight with me for $5 million easy because that's what he got paid to fight Joshua the first time for the world titles. You just lost, and you're getting paid a lot of money to fight in America. I'll come to America and fight. But if you don't want to take it … these guys say a lot of things about me. But I'm an old-school dog. I come to bark. I don't play no games."
One name that has reportedly piqued Ruiz's interest is former two-time heavyweight challenger Luis Oritz. Whyte's mind is boggled on Ruiz's decision to turn down a marquee fight for what he feels would be more money.
"He says he wants to fight Luis Ortiz," Whyte said. "I don't get this. You got offered $5 million to fight (me), and you want to fight Luis Ortiz at $200,000. It makes no sense. You say you can beat me. You think you can beat me. Why are you going to fight Luis Ortiz, (which) to him is a harder fight than me?"