Wilder suggests he will return against Joshua and not against Ruiz

Deontay Wilder has seemingly concluded that he is unlikely to return to the ring in 2023 if a recent clip published by Boxing News Online is anything to go by. 

Wilder had been expected to face Andy Ruiz Jr in a contest over the summer/fall months, which would serve as a final eliminator for the WBC heavyweight world title. However, at the time of publication, a deal between the two fighters is far from being agreed upon and negotiations have all but collapsed. 

Ruiz Jr still believes that a deal can be agreed upon when asked by Marq Nash TV and replied, “We’re negotiating right now, man. It’s gonna happen; it’s gonna happen soon.” 

However, Ruiz implied that the hold-up regarding any agreed-upon deal is due to money. Reports suggest that Ruiz has been offered 30% of any purse between himself and Wilder. Ruiz is looking for a fairer purse split point in the 50/50% region. 

“At least. I just want it to be fair. I don’t want anybody trying to rip me off or anything like this. It’s not really about the money, but we don’t want to take nothing less, you know?”

Wilder is not so optimistic despite not commenting officially not commenting on the delay in any fight being agreed upon with Ruiz. 

It is also all but formally confirmed that Wilder will travel to Saudi Arabia in late 2023 or early 2024 and face former two-time world heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua. The event will be one of the first events promoted officially by Skill Challenge Entertainment, which has significant financial clout from the Saudi Arabian government courtesy of the national public investment fund. 

The contest between Wilder-Joshua and the financial agreements between both fighters depends on the outcome of Joshua’s upcoming encounter with Dillian Whyte. If Joshua wins, it will proceed as expected. Lose, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has conceded that the current deal for Joshua will be “taken off the table.”

Wilder, who has only fought once following his back-to-back defeats to Tyson Fury in their trilogy, came against Robert Helenius in October of 2022. Wilder would claim victory in the opening round. 

When Boxing News Online asked Wilderabout his return, he instantly replied, “Soon. Maybe January, me versus [Anthony] Joshua, it’s going down.”