ANDY RUIZ JNR might want to rethink putting himself forward for a spot on the 2020 Mexican Olympic team after he defends his WBA, IBF and WBO world heavyweight titles against Anthony Joshua on December 7.
Why? Because if he goes through with it, he will be banned from fighting for the WBC world heavyweight for two years upon his return to the pro game. That’s according to WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman, a Mexican, who has publicly condemned professional boxers competing in the Olympic Games.
“The WBC strongly disagrees with supporting a professional boxer competing in the Olympic games,” he said. “It’s something unacceptable that should not be accepted by fans and boxing experts in the world.
“Olympic amateur boxing is completely different. They are two different sports and it is very dangerous. We cannot accept this.
“If any professional boxer, including champions or former champions, decide to participate in the next Olympics, they will have a sanction of at least two years in the WBC.”
If Ruiz had seriously been considering a spot at the Olympics – and it’s still hard to believe he did – this will come as a serious blow to his aspirations.
The WBC title, after all, is the one major championship missing from his collection and is no doubt something he will pursue should he retain the other three against Joshua in Saudi Arabia.
Therefore, given the risk involved, he will be far better served focusing on the immediate – his flourishing pro career – and ignoring the pleas of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who last week invited Ruiz, and other Mexican pros, to enter the qualifying process for the Games.
“We face a historical challenge as for more than half a century Mexico has not obtained a gold medal in boxing,” he said. “But with your support and patriotic collaboration, we are sure that its boxing talents will bring Olympic glory to our country and, in the same way, you will receive the thanks of the people of Mexico.”
Some of the people, but not all of the people. There’s at least one Mexican who doesn’t approve of this sort of behaviour.
At this point there are two things that potentially stopping Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury from meeting again in February.
The first is the small matter of Cuban southpaw Luis Ortiz, who Wilder must defeat on November 23 to keep hold of his WBC heavyweight title. The second, meanwhile, are the two cuts Fury suffered during a tougher than expected 12-round fight against Otto Wallin on September 14.
A couple of bad ones, if they don’t heal in time there will be no Wilder vs. Fury II on February 22, as planned, and the wait will go on.
“There’s lots of people involved there,” Ben Davison, Fury’s trainer, told Sky Sports. “In terms of the cut, on Tyson’s behalf, what I would say is I’m not an expert in that field, so I couldn’t really make too much of a comment there.
“Obviously, Tyson is a fighter. As long as he’s 100 per cent, he’s willing to fight. He’s shown that time and time again.
“In terms of Wilder being ready, and the broadcasters wanting it on that date, I couldn’t comment there. In terms of the cut, like I say, I’m not an expert in that field, so we’ll have to wait and see.
“I’ve always said Tyson is a freak of nature so he’s healing pretty quickly and pretty well.”
Even if they do end up fighting in February, it will still be 14 months after their first encounter, much too long given all the momentum generated by Wilder vs. Fury I. But if they wait any longer, and we then have to watch them engage in additional potentially hazardous tune-up fights, somebody really has dropped the ball with this one.