Wilder: Ruiz would be bigger fight than Joshua

Deontay Wilder and Andy Ruiz Jr are both PBC fighters, so if all goes well for them in a series of upcoming bouts, a fight, possibly for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world, is a serious possibility at some point in 2020.

Wilder has to get through Luis Ortiz in a Nov. 23 rematch, and then is expected to go into second meeting with Tyson Fury in Feb. 2020. Ruiz, of course, has to rematch Anthony Joshua on Dec. 7 in Saudi Arabia.

Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KO) obviously will have his eyes on that fight if he gets past Ortiz next month. He says that a fight with Ruiz (33-1, 22 KO) would be even bigger than a fight with Joshua (22-1, 21 KO), his old media rival:

“The Ruiz Jr fight is even huger. Whoever wins is going to be a big fight. But the biggest fight is me and Ruiz Jr because of his Hispanic background, and he’s American, so he has both sides. Becoming the first Mexican heavyweight champion is huge because they’ve never had that before. A lot of people who weren’t alert on him, they are now. It’s bigger than what Joshua could ever be.”

The 33-year-old Wilder is probably right here, this isn’t just talk for the sake of taking Joshua down another peg. If Ruiz beats Joshua again, he firmly establishes himself as more than a one-off Cinderella story, and as a star in the boxing world. And backing from Mexican and Mexican-American fans certainly gives him a significant marketability edge in the US over the British Joshua.

But there’s a lot for both of them to take care of in the meantime, and looking ahead to a Wilder-Ruiz undisputed fight would be unwise at this point. There’s a lot of legitimate danger for both of them between now and then.