By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – Even after Andy Ruiz Jr has been hugely upset by Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury is not exactly right in qualifying the new champion as the heavyweight of the elite.
Fury called it a "two-horse race" for supremacy in the heavyweight division between him and Deontay Wilder, after Tom Schwarz stopped in the second round of Fury on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Wilder, 33 (41-0-1, 40 KO), WBC champion, and Fury, 30, (28-0-1, 20 KO), presented as the linear champion, are expected to fight again in early 2020 if Fury beats an undisputed opponent on 21 September or 5 October and Wilder can beat Luis Ortiz (31-1, 26 KOs, 2 NC) in their October or November rematch.
Ruiz (33-1, 22 KOs) is preparing for an immediate rematch against Englishman Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs). Their second fight is probably headed to a stadium in the UK in October or November.
"No disrespect for Andy Ruiz," Fury said at a press conference after the fight on Saturday night. "He did a great performance, but he signed a contract with Joshua. So, I do not consider it part of this two-horse race. I think Wilder and I beat Andy Ruiz quite comfortably.
Ruiz, 29, of Imperial, Calif., Rose after a shock in the third round, dropped Joshua four times, twice each in the third and seventh rounds, and defeated Joshua in the eighths. Final Technical Rounds at Madison Square, June 1st Garden in New York. His surprising stopping of the heavily favored former champion is considered one of the biggest upheavals in the history of boxing.
If the IBF / IBO / WBA / WBO champion could still defeat Joshua later this year, Fury would welcome the fight with Ruiz later in 2020.
"Yes, one hundred percent," Fury said. "If he beats Joshua in revenge, then he's next in line, whoever wins me and Wilder will fight Andy Ruiz, I do not see why these fights should not be done, I do not see anything with Andy." Ruiz scares me, and I think it would be a good fight, a good combination of styles. "
Keith Idec is a senior writer / columnist for BoxingScene.com. You can contact him on Twitter @ Idecboxing.