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Andy Ruiz beats Luis Ortiz via unanimous decision after three knockdowns as Deontay Wilder welcomes all-American heavyweight clash

Deontay Wilder has welcomed a fight with Andy Ruiz should the former world heavyweight champion beat Robert Helenius; Ruiz's win over Luis Ortiz puts him in position to challenge for the WBC belt held by Tyson Fury, who is expected to face Oleksandr Usyk for the undisputed championship

Andy Ruiz Jr celebrates his win over Luis Ortiz
Image: Andy Ruiz celebrates his win over Luis Ortiz

Andy Ruiz floored Luis Ortiz three times as he recorded a unanimous decision victory on his return to the ring in Sunday night's WBC title eliminator in California. 

The 32-year-old, fighting for the first time since beating Chris Arreola by unanimous decision in May 2021, dropped his opponent twice in the second round and once in the seventh before seeing out the remainder of the fight to improve his record to 35-2 (22 KOs).

The judges scored the bout 114-111, 114-111 and 113-112 in favour of Ruiz as knockdowns proved decisive, moving the American heavyweight closer towards another world title opportunity.

"I'm ready, man. I'm hungry," Ruiz told Fox Sports afterwards. "I want to be champion again and bring that belt back to Mexico!"

Luis Ortiz dodges a left hand from Andy Ruiz
Image: Ortiz dodges a left hand from Ruiz

Ruiz's first and third knockdowns reminded the heavyweight division of the dangerous power he possesses, while the second was arguably more of a push that capitalised on an Ortiz that was still recovering from the first.

The 43-year-old Cuban had decent spells and boxed tidily, though, as he landed solid jabs that prevented Ruiz was ever dominating the contest.

Former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, who has previously stopped Ortiz twice in his career, was in attendance on the night and appeared open to Ruiz's challenge of an all-American heavyweight clash in the not-so-distant future.

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"If Deontay wins in October, me and him are with the same management and we can make this fight happen," said Ruiz. "Let's get it on. I'm hungry and I want to be champion again and bring that belt back to Mexico."

Deontay Wilder is expected to return to the ring in 2022
Image: Deontay Wilder is back in action in October

Wilder is scheduled to face Robert Helenius on October 15 in New York in what will mark his first ring action since his 11th-round knockout defeat in the third and final fight of his epic trilogy with Tyson Fury.

"Deontay Wilder is back and looking for great, exciting fights to give the fans," Wilder said. "If that's what the fans want, let's do it."

Earlier in the night, Isaac Cruz produced a spectacular second-round knockout to defeat Eduardo Ramirez in his second successive victory since losing to Gervonta 'Tank' Davis by unanimous decision in December.

Charles Martin also stopped Devin Vargas in the fourth round of their heavyweight clash to improve his record to 29-3-1 (26 KOs) after losing to Ortiz in January despite two knockdowns.

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