Filip Hrgovic and Andy Ruiz are again in one another’s sights.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that an interim IBF heavyweight title struggle has been ordered between Hrgovic and Ruiz, with a 30-day free negotiation interval assigned to the proposed bout. A handbag bid listening to shall be known as ought to the 2 sides fail to succeed in phrases, ought to it even make it to that time.
Hrgovic is co-promoted by Wasserman Boxing and Matchroom Boxing, whereas Ruiz is represented by TGB Promotions—the first promotional outfit below the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) umbrella.
Such a struggle was known as by the sanctioning physique one yr in the past—practically to the day—when the IBF sought to determine a compulsory challenger for its heavyweight title. Ruiz was unable to proceed with talks as a consequence of his restoration interval from a previous harm, thus changing into one among a number of heavyweights who handed on the provide to face the 2016 Olympic Bronze medalist from Croatia.
Hrgovic (15-0, 12KOs) went on to face China’s Zhilei Zhang (21-1-1, 13KOs), surviving a gap spherical knockdown to assert a disputed resolution win final August 20 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The title eliminator got here on the identical card as Oleksandr Usyk’s repeat win over England’s Anthony Joshua (24-3, 22KOs) to defend his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles. Ukraine’s Usyk (20-0, 13KOs) made the primary profitable protection of the unified titles he wrested from Joshua of their September 2021 assembly in North London.
The IBF initially ordered a compulsory title struggle between Usyk and Hrgovic final November 12, with Hrgovic’s facet demanding a right away purse bid listening to. The matter was tabled till earlier this month, when the IBF offerd a mea culpa in acknowledging that the WBA was subsequent within the rotation of necessary challengers.
The event meant England’s Daniel Dubois—who holds the WBA ‘Common’ heavyweight title was subsequent in line. Dubois is promoted by Queensberry Promotions, who additionally has lineal/WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (33-0-1, 24KOs) and with the heavy push in direction of a Fury-Usyk undisputed heavyweight championship focused for this spring within the Center East or United Kingdom.
All was not misplaced for Hrgovic, who was granted permission to struggle for an interim title whereas awaiting his title shot.
Ruiz (35-2, 22KOs) has fought simply twice since his personal win over Joshua to briefly function WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champ. The Mexican heavyweight shocked the world, recovering from a knockdown to attain 4 of his personal in a June 2019 seventh-round knockout of Joshua at Madison Sq. Backyard in New York Metropolis. Their December 2019 rematch noticed Joshua field his technique to a call over a grossly out of form model by Ruiz.
Since then have come resolution wins over Chris Arreola in Might 2021 and Luis Ortiz final September 4, each within the better Los Angeles space. Ruiz rose from the canvas within the second spherical to soundly outpoint Arreola atop a Fox Sports activities Pay-Per-View from Dignity Well being Sports activities Park in Carson, California. A 16-month, injury-induced ring absence ended together with his Fox Sports activities PPV-headlined win over Ortiz, with the 2 buying and selling knockdowns in his resolution victory from Crypto.com Area in Los Angeles.
The win over Ruiz got here in a sanctioned WBC semifinal title eliminator, as a part of a four-man box-off. The opposite facet of the bracket noticed former WBC champ Deontay Wilder rating a first-round knockout of Robert Helenius final October 15 at Barclays Middle in Brooklyn, New York. The hope was to then stage a Wilder-Ruiz last eliminator, as ordered through the WBC conference final November in Acapulco, Mexico. The struggle has but to make its technique to the schedule.
Curiously, Wilder is ranked one spot under Ruiz at number-four within the IBF rankings. Any mixture of Wilder-Ruiz being finalized, or each Ruiz and Wilder declining the provide to struggle for the interim IBF title might result in Joshua getting into the combo. Joshua stays with out an opponent for a deliberate April ring return at The O2 in London.
Jake Donovan is a senior author for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox