Andy Ruiz Jr Next For Tyson Fury? Five Boxing Stories You Might Have Missed

It might be the holiday season, but boxing never sleeps
12:00, 31 Dec 2021

The fights may have slowed down to give everyone a Christmas break, but boxing’s powerbrokers never stop talking turkey. Various fight figures have had plenty to say this week, and we’ll bring you all the best bits in a festive Five Boxing Stories You Might Have Missed.

Ruiz Jr or Helenius Could Be Next For Fury

Dillian Whyte had looked on course to finally receive his mandatory shot at WBC and lineal champion Tyson Fury, but promoter Bob Arum says ‘The Body Snatcher’ has priced himself out of the clash. Whyte reportedly rejected a 75/25 purse split, and is instead demanding $10 million to meet ‘The Gypsy King’.

This has opened the door for other possible opponents, and the Top Rank chief has two fighters in mind. Arum told IFL TV “We’re looking at Andy Ruiz, he’s a possibility, he’s available.” before adding, “(Robert) Helenius. He’s a big, big Finnish kid, who can really fight, and those are the two principal guys.” Arum also revealed he’s working with Frank Warren to arrange these fights in either Manchester or Las Vegas. It is understood the WBC championship would not be on the line, but that Fury’s The Ring belt and lineal recognition would be at stake.

Wilder’s Trainer Talks Up “Super Fight” With AJ

Malik Scott, trainer of former heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, has labelled a potential clash with Anthony Joshua a “super fight”. In a wide-ranging interview with ESNEWS, the former heavyweight contender talked about the wealth of options open to his charge. “I told him the other day, ‘Think about the position you’re in, bro.’ The position he’s at after a defeat is a position most fighters aren’t even in after they win a fight.”

Wilder’s stock certainly rose when he shared one of the greatest heavyweight fights of all-time with Tyson Fury back in October. His next move will draw massive attention, and if that move is a fight with ‘AJ’ then the hype would reach fever pitch. Scott continued, “All those fights are super, super fights, especially him and AJ. That’ll always be a super fight no matter what. Him and Usyk. He has a lot of options.” Whichever option ‘The Bronze Bomber’ takes, it’s sure to be exciting.

one for the ages: wilder and fury go to war
one for the ages: wilder and fury go to war

Canelo’s 2022 Plans Involve Light Heavyweight Unification

Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez is set to challenge WBC cruiserweight champion Ilunga Makabu in his next fight, but the Mexican is not expected to stay in the higher weight class. A return to light heavyweight has reportedly been mooted by Alvarez’s trainer, Eddy Reynoso.

‘Canelo’ claimed the WBO 175-pound strap in 2019, stopping Sergey Kovalev in eleven rounds. In 2020, he returned to super middleweight and is now the undisputed champion in that weight class. Bob Arum has mentioned that Reynoso clued him in on Alvarez’s next move. “I think they might want to fight Joe Smith Jr. next and then go to (Artur) Beterbiev to unify the titles. They sort of hinted at that.”

Smith Jr meets Britain’s Callum Johnson in January, and should he emerge with his WBO championship intact he could be in for a money-spinning showdown with ‘Canelo’.

Thurman Targets Title Shot

Former unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman has targeted a world title win in 2022, as he stands on the verge of fighting for the first time since his 2019 loss to Manny Pacquiao. ‘One Time’ has a February date with former super lightweight champion Mario Barrios in the diary, and should he be successful he wants to face one of the big names at 147 pounds.

Speaking to Fight Hub TV, the 33-year-old said, “It’s (Yordenis) Ugas, (Errol) Spence and (Terence) Crawford. That’s all the champions. I don’t have a belt right now. I want a belt back.” Planning out the year ahead, he continued, “So all three of those guys are legitimate; I think you would agree are legitimate for a fight this up and coming summer. If I fight in the first quarter of 2022, I can take a fight by July.”

Welterweight is one of the most stacked divisions in boxing, and the return of one of the most talented champions in recent memory should make things exciting in the new year.

WBO Expected To Order Kambosos Jr To Face Lomachenko

While WBA, IBF and WBO lightweight champion George Kambosos Jr has been circling an undisputed title showdown with WBC king Devin Haney, the WBO look set to throw a spanner in the works. It is understood the organisation is close to ordering the Australian to face their number one contender, Vasiliy Lomachenko.

‘The Matrix’ is coming off the back of a superb win over Richard Commey, and is widely-regarded as the most dangerous fight out there for Kambosos Jr. Of course ‘Ferocious’ could refuse, but he would forfeit his WBO version of the lightweight title, thus scuppering the lucrative showdown with Haney. It will be fascinating to see how this plays out, as a division stacked with world class talent tries to set itself for 2022.

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