September 21, 2016
September 21, 2016
Hughie Fury

Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

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UNBEATEN heavyweight contender, Andy Ruiz Jnr (29-0, 19 KOs), withdraws from his October 29th bout against fast-rising prospect, Hughie Fury (20-0, 10 KOs). The big men were set to clash in a WBO title eliminator on the Tyson Fury – Wladimir Klitschko undercard on October 29th in Manchester. The news comes ten days after Ruiz’s unanimous decision victory over Franklin Lawrence in Lemoore, California.

Fury’s father and trainer, Peter Fury, made the announcement on social media early Wednesday morning. “Andy Ruiz junior pulls out of fight October 29th” said the elder Fury. “News just in today.”

“Not happening as far as I know,” said long time Top Rank matchmaker, Bruce Trampler, to Boxing News when reached for comment.

This is the second fight from which Ruiz withdraws in less than ten months. Earlier in the year, his former trainer, “Big” Jeff Grmoja, told BoxingScene.com that “he wasn’t mentally where he needed to be” and that “the best move was to have him sit (his January 16th fight) out.”

Earlier in the month, promoter Frank Warren surprised fans when he lined up the slick, hard-hitting, Mexican-American against the relatively untested Fury. The match would have been a sizable step up in competition for Warren’s fighter and could have potentially led to an intriguing Fury versus Fury mandate by the WBO, had the cousins each notched victories on October 29th.

“I am happy to be in such a big fight against a top heavyweight,” Fury said when the fight was originally announced. “I will be giving my all to retain my WBO Intercontinental belt and I hope it is a fight that the fans enjoy. Out of all of the top up-and-coming heavyweights I believe I have fought the better men in my career so far. Being tested against tougher opponents will help me in this fight.”

Specific details have yet to emerge as to the reason for Ruiz’s withdrawal. He looked to be in great physical shape as he trained for his last bout in Nevada alongside Jorge Linares. The Venezuelan was at altitude preparing for his own fight against Anthony Crolla, which will be staged this weekend at the Manchester Arena.

We await an official announcement from Warren as to whether Hughie Fury will still appear on the October 29th card against a new opponent.