IT’S a tough day to be Franklin “Yah-Yah” Lawrence (21-2-2, 16 KOs). The forty-year-old heavyweight from Indianapolis, Indiana, is scheduled to face Andy Ruiz (28-0, 19 KOs) on September 10th as part of a Top Rank card in central California. You wouldn’t know it from reading Frank Warren’s Saturday column in the Daily Star, however. In it, the promoter announces that the same Ruiz will be fighting Hughie Fury (20-0, 10 KOs) on the Fury-Klitschko II undercard, if the long-anticipated rematch ever comes to fruition.
“The cousin of WBO and WBA heavyweight king Tyson Fury is set for a huge step up in class on October 29,” said Warren. “Fury, 21, will take on unbeaten Andy Ruiz on the undercard of his cousin’s long-awaited rematch with Wladimir Klitschko. And the winner will be mandatory challenger for whoever is the victor in the main event in Manchester as the bout is a WBO final eliminator.”
In Warren’s defense, the hard-hitting Ruiz is expected to walk right over Lawrence next Saturday night but in a summer in which we’ve seen cab drivers defeat former world champions, it may have been wise to wait until next weekend to announce the fight. Unless, of course, Warren and Top Rank plan on throwing the Mexican-American in the ring with young Fury regardless of the outcome.
For the unbeaten Hughie Fury, this will be a considerable step up in competition. Ruiz, despite his doughy appearance, is a tough heavyweight with fast hands, a solid chin, and a relentless, in-your face, style. Landing a periodic counter punch, or simply smothering his opponent, will not be enough to hand Fury the victory against the rugged Imperial Valley resident
Warren acknowledges the challenge that his fighter will face. “This is a big step up for him at such a young age but one he can certainly win,” he said. “Fury’s trainer and father Peter has never held back in saying how good his son is. Now he really is stepping up to the plate against the Mexican-born Ruiz, who has yet to lose in 28 pro bouts with 19 of those wins by knockout.”
As far as what will happen if Tyson and Hughie each come out victorious on October 29th, Warren added, “If both of the Fury family win on the night it could leave us with an awkward situation, but we will come to that if it happens.”