Unified heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr 33-1 (22) says he would welcome the opportunity to avenge his sole professional defeat to Joseph Parker 25-2 (19).
The Mexican-American dropped a majority decision to New Zealand’s Parker for the vacant WBO heavyweight title in December 2016.
Ruiz Jr shocked the boxing world when he stopped Brit Anthony Joshua 22-1 (21) in seven rounds at New York’s Madison Square Garden on June 1 to claim the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles.
The 29-year-old took the fight on six weeks’ notice after original opponent Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller withdrew after failing a drug test.
Ruiz Jr has been on a victory tour through his hometown of Imperial Valley, California, after his surprise win over Joshua, who he will face in an immediate rematch later this year.
“I’d like to fight him [Joseph Parker], after we get the fight I have first,” Ruiz told the media during a victory parade at the weekend.
“I never look past an opponent that I have. Right now, I’m just focused on getting the results that I got in the last fight in the rematch and remain the Mexican heavyweight champion of the world.”
Parker, 27, rates his victory over Ruiz Jr as one of the best of his career.
“I think it makes my win look pretty good,” Parker told Sky Sports of the relevance of Ruiz’s victory over Joshua. “I was able to beat him for 12 rounds and win the decision.
“I was able to go 12 rounds with AJ, so I think there’s a little triangle that’s going on at the moment. I just need to take care of business with the fights that I have coming up and hopefully we can light something up with one of those guys in the future.
“With the goals that I have and what I’m wanting to achieve, I’m sure I’ll cross paths with them again, but I’ve just got to take care of business.”
Parker returns to the ring against former world title challenger Alex Leapai at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island this Saturday night.
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