However, the new WBA ‘Super’, WBO and IBF world heavyweight champion has promised a repeat performance.
“I dethroned the king June 1st and made history becoming the first Mexican/American Heavyweight Champion of the world.
“I’m looking forward to ending his career in the desert.”
I dethroned the king June 1st and made history becoming the first Mexican/American Heavyweight Champion of the world. I’m looking forward to ending his career in the desert. Mostrare la grandeza del boxeo mexicano en Arabia Saudita. pic.twitter.com/4asTzG4N7C
He told iFL TV: “I don’t think he’s a better boxer than Ruiz, so the only thing that AJ can do is knock him out early.
“He’s not a better boxer, he hasn’t got better feet, he doesn’t have faster hands and he doesn’t throw better combinations. So he’s coming off second best in every single category apart from athleticism and size.
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“If you look at history, the ones that do take the rematch get usually chinned.
“If you can’t beat Andy Ruiz Jr, you can’t do anything to Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder. Or any other decent heavyweight in the world.
“If he can’t beat Andy Ruiz Jr in the rematch, he’s finished – done, finished, goodnight, bye-bye. He needs to retire – simple as, forget about it, give it up as a bad job.”
Wilder’s rematch with Ortiz is scheduled for later this year and the Matchroom director is desperate to see the Brixton brawler get his shot.
“There’s a lot going on with the WBC,” he told talkSPORT. “I think the offer from the WBC, which is a final eliminator, is an interim world title fight.
“That’s all fine, but it’s more about the timings.
“This week marks 600 days Dillian Whyte has been WBC number one contender – it’s incredible.
“So we are saying when? We are not waiting 800, 900, 1000 days so our campaign is that the winner of Wilder against Ortiz should fight the winner of Whyte vs Rivas.
“Or if not, give us a time frame. We are doing absolutely everything and we will not stop till Dillian Whyte gets justice on this because I think the WBC are fair people.
“Mauricio Sulaiman is a boxing guy through and through, I know he has been a bit upset by some of the comments, but they are nothing yet.
“We have got to get our way and we are not even asking for a favour. We are just asking for what is fair.
“And we thank the public for their support on this as well because that is important. Dillian Whyte has stepped up and fought everyone, this Rivas fight is a very tough fight on July 20 and it is a must-win fight that I believe will have a lot on the line in terms of the WBC position.”
“This week marks 600 days that Dillian Whyte has been WBC number one.”
“We’re not waiting 800 days. We want the winner of Wilder v Ortiz.”
Asked about the rumours, he told IFL TV: “A journalist messaged me the next day, ‘We heard he got knocked out by Agit Kabayel’. I said Agit Kabayel wasn’t in the camp.
“They said, ‘Who else did he spar with?’ I said he sparred with Joey Dawejko. [They said] ‘Oh, Joey Dawejko knocked him out’.
Probed further on the rumours, he continued: “I’m not in camp. I speak to AJ, I speak to Rob [McCracken], I speak to all the people. No [he wasn’t knocked out], not at all. They had two spars. Not at all.
“How many times has AJ had a fight where the rumours are he’s been dropped in camp? Every fight. And actually the only one that when you speak to AJ he talks about is David Price dropped him in sparring. And actually he’s not the kind of guy who would sort of deny or hide from it.”
Asked if he was dropped in sparring, Hearn added: “No, no. I mean, again, I wasn’t there. I speak to 12 people that were there. Absolutely not is the response.”
He explained: “It wasn’t a black eye. It was from a compression machine that went on his face and it took the skin off. Did you see the injury? It was where he’d had skin taken off his face. You don’t get that from getting chinned and knocked down.
“So it was crazy all the reports [being concussed]. You think he sparred the week of the fight? He was in New York from Saturday, he wasn’t sparring.
“And even if he did get hurt – which he didn’t – do you not think fighters spar and get hurt in sparring? I had a sit down with AJ and asked did you get hurt in sparring and he said no.”
Perhaps the most logical decision, a rematch between Joshua and Ruiz Jr was talked about instantly by Matchroom Boxing director Eddie Hearn in the aftermath of Joshua’s destruction.
“The rematch takes precedence over the belts,’ Hearn said in the early hours of Sunday morning. “The next mandatory is the WBO, and I’ve already spoken to Paco Valcarcel (WBO president), who would have no issues with the rematch.
“The rematch, every belt will be on the line.
“Andy has the chance to defend his titles and go on in fights with Wilder and Fury, but for us, AJ will want to win his belts back, but he’ll want to beat Andy Ruiz. I believe every one of those belts will be on the line.”
However, as with many decisions in boxing, it is not as simple as it seems.
THE IBF SCENARIO
Although a rematch clause was inserted into Ruiz Jr’s contract, the Mexican is already facing the possibility of being stripped by the IBF.
Should he agree to a rematch with the Brit as opposed to fighting mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev, the governing body could strip the newly-crowned champion of his belt.
Despite just winning the title, the IBF have a precedent of doing this in past. In 2015, after beating Wladimir Klitschko in Dusseldorf, Tyson Fury was forced to vacate the IBF heavyweight crown less than two weeks after winning it.
Like Ruiz, Fury was an underdog and had a rematch clause written into his contract. So what does that mean for that belt?
If the IBF belt were to be vacated, Pulev is likely to face the German Agi Kabayel. Then there is the situation with the WBO belt…
Like the IBF, the WBO governing body are expected to call their mandatory challenger in September.
Should Ruiz decide to vacate that belt to pursue the Joshua rematch, the No.1 ranked fighter is Dillian Whyte. Provided the Brit can get through his clash with Oscar Rivas on July 20, he could well be in a position to finally challenge for a world title (albeit a vacant one).
With both Whyte and Usyk signed to Matchroom, a fight in the winter could be easy to make and would surely sell out a stadium in the UK.
There is a chance Joshua’s rematch could supersede a mandatory being called and potentially seeing all the belts cast into the wilderness as they were back in 2015.
According to the WBO rules: “if requested by a super champion who has lost his title and who wishes to fight for the title again, the championship committee may designate the super champion as the mandatory challenger”.
However, there is a scenario which could mean Whyte, Usyk and Joshua miss out all together.
While Usyk poses the mot immediate danger to the heavyweight division, the power and influence of the mysterious Al Haymon must also be taken into consideration.
Andy Ruiz is represented by the boxing mogul, as is WBC champion Deontay Wilder. As mentioned before, the Bronze Bomber confirmed his next two fights would be against Ortiz and Fury.
But the chance to crown an undisputed champion, whilst also locking Joshua and Eddie Hearn out of title contention, could prove too good an opportunity for ShowTime, Al Haymon and Shelly Finkel (Wilder’s manager) to pass up.
Although there would undoubtedly be legal ramifications given the contracts in place, crowning an undisputed champion would add some calm to what is quickly becoming the most frenetic division in the sport.
While it remains to be seen what happens next, there is no denying the ride will be entertaining.
His Showtime contract meant Tyson Fury had to contend with working on that network for their December 1 fight, but the ‘Gypsy King’ has now signed a multi-fight, co-promotional deal with ESPN and Top Rank.
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And the Olympic Gold medallist wants to make the best fights happen before it is too late.
He added: “We’re all trying to be the leader of the world. Why don’t the best fight the best?
“Broadcasters want to build up their fighter before they sling them in so they can make a return on their investment.”
In his place, Ortiz emerged as a genuine contender and Joshua seemed keen to make the fight happen against the former world title contender.
But, in an Instagram message posted on Tuesday evening, the Cuban’s team claimed they were told to stay quiet to try to get it made and have accused Eddie Hearn of making ‘low ball offers’.
A statement read: “It’s a no go for June 1…Sorry guys we where [sic] told to stay as quiet as possible and play possum until fight had been made because every time someone called out Luis it would be a gimmick to promote them self but it still didn’t work.
“We just received word from promoter it’s a no go and it was all a gimmick and Hearn’s low ball offers will not be accepted and no contract even ever got sent over so sorry to all the loyal fans.
“Luis really wanted this title shot.”
Ortiz last challenged for a world title when he went ten rounds with Deontay Wilder 2017 – eventually succumbing to the Bronze Bomber’s ferocious power.
Unbeaten Dmitry Bivol is set to defend his WBA light heavyweight title against dangerous challenger Joe Smith Jr in New York tonight.
Bivol has held his belt since September 2017 but his impressive run of victories will be put to the test against heavy hitting American Smith Jr.
Maurice Hooker will also put his WBO Light-Welterweight title on the line against Mikkel Lespierre on the undercard.
So ahead of a big night of boxing, here’s everything you need to know to catch it.
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Dmitry Bivol vs Joe Smith Jr: UK date
The fight will take place in the early hours of Sunday, March 10 and will be held at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in New York.
Dmitry Bivol vs Joe Smith Jr: UK main event start time
The ringwalk in New York is expected to get underway at around 4am UK time but it will depend on the undercard results.
Dmitry Bivol vs Joe Smith Jr: TV details and how to stream
The 12-round contest will be shown live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Action with their coverage beginning at 2am.
If you are not a Sky subscriber, you can watch it on Now TV – day passes are available for £8.99.
The fight will also been shown on DAZN for fans outside of the UK and they offer a free 30-day trial to stream through a variety of platforms including Apple TV, Google Chromecast, iOS, Android, Xbox One and Playstation 4.
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Maurice Hooker vs Mikkel Lespierre, Light-Welterweight contest for WBO World Junior Title
Callum Johnson vs Sean Monaghan, Light-Heavyweight contest
Sergiy Kuzmin vs Joey Dawejko, Heavyweight contest for WBA Intercontinental Title
Israil Madrimov vs Frank Rojas, Welterweight contest for WBA Intercontinental Title
Otha Jones III vs Giorgi Gelashvili, Welterweight
Nikita Ababiy vs Cory Dulaney, Middleweight
Junior Younan vs Derrek Findley, Super-Middleweight
Dmitry Bivol vs Joe Smith Jr: What have the fighters said?
Dmitry Bivol: “I want to make fights for the people. I want to make sure this fight has exposure, that it will attract attention. I’m ready to fight another champion.”
Joe Smith Jr: “Winning a world title would mean everything to me. It’s everything I have worked toward my whole life. I cannot even express how I will feel when I win this title.”