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American Andy Ruiz Jr believes he can beat Anthony Joshua again as he eyes trilogy clash with the British heavyweight.
But Ruiz Jr only wants to take on the Watford warrior if he gets revenge against Oleksandr Usyk on August 20 in Saudi Arabia. Ruiz Jr, who is also Mexican, is keen to face former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, too.
The former WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion is preparing to face Cuban veteran Luis Ortiz in LA on September 4. But he wants his manager Al Haymon to make the Wilder fight. Wilder has not fought since he lost for a second time against Tyson Fury in October 2021.
READ MORE: Deontay Wilder's power leaves British fighter astonished as he backs American to return
“The heavyweight division is so open right now," he said. "I just got to get this win first against Luis Ortiz. Like I said, it’s a hard opponent, but, of course, I would love to fight Wilder if he comes out of retirement.
“I don’t know if he said he’s going to come out of retirement, but I would love to fight him. We’re both under PBC and Al Haymon, and that fight would be easy to make."
But another option would be the winner of Usyk's rematch with Joshua, which takes place in Saudi Arabia next month. Ruiz Jr stunned Joshua when he handed him his first defeat in June 2019 against the odds. Joshua got revenge in Riyad six months later to take back the WBA, IBF and WBO belts.
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Ruiz Jr came in out of shape for the rematch and admitted he skipped training sessions enjoying his new-found wealth. He was heavily criticised for his attitude. But Joshua lost the titles again to Usyk when they met in September and now his career at the top of the division is on the line again.
But Ruiz Jr wants the third clash with Joshua to settle their rivalry should the Brit become a three-time heavyweight world champion in Jeddah.
“If it’s Usyk, Joshua, I want the trilogy as well,” said Ruiz. “There are so many things that I want to do, and that’s why I’ve got to stay focused and stay disciplined, and I’ve got to stay active. The main thing is winning on September 4."
Joshua is now a huge underdog against Usyk but Ruiz Jr, who has experience of being written off, is not ruling out the British fighter getting revenge. He said: "I think he can.
“In the heavyweight division, anything can happen. It only takes one punch to change a fight. I think it’s up to the one that is more hungry. I know Anthony Joshua goes down and comes back up. He loses and fights again to win.
“I don’t know. Usyk is a hard guy too. His style, he throws combinations, and when I win on September 4 against Luis Ortiz, you never know. If Wilder doesn’t, and we don’t make the fight, we could look for Usyk,”
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- Anthony Joshua
- Andy Ruiz
- Deontay Wilder
- Oleksandr Usyk
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