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Deontay Wilder could face Andy Ruiz Jr ahead of Anthony Joshua bout in December

Deontay Wilder and trainer Malik Scott. Photo credit: Ryan Hafey

Former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder 43-2-1 (42) could still return to the ring ahead of his proposed bout against former unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 25-3 (22) in Saudi Arabia in December.

The 37-year-old Wilder has fought just once in the past two years, a first round blowout of Robert Helenius last October.

Wilder has been linked to a bout against former unified champion Andy Ruiz Jr 35-2 (22) after the WBC ordered a final eliminator between the pair. The winner would become the mandatory challenger to WBC champion Tyson Fury 33-0-1 (24).

Wilder’s trainer Malik Scott says a decision will be made soon about his boxer’s future fights.

“There’s no telling if Deontay will fight between now and December. Absolutely I would like to fight between now and December. That’s no secret at all. Andy Ruiz is right there in the mix. Anything can happen. We’re one move away from making very crucial decisions for the better of Deontay’s career,” Scott said to Betway.

“For Deontay not to fight between now and December, the compensation that Deontay would need to receive would have to be extremely high because once again he’s a businessman, he doesn’t sit around and wait. So, if he considers sitting around and waiting, then he will have to be compensated, and he will have to be compensated very, very well, because that means he’s putting a lot of opportunities on hold, putting his legacy on hold, and to do that you have to compensate a man like Deontay.

“The Saudis understand that type of business, so that wouldn’t even be an issue. That’s something that they know. If we want them to wait then we have to do this. These guys are real businessmen. They know what they want for the country. They know what they want to do and how they want to do it. We won’t be waiting until the end of summer to get this signed. I promise you that. We will definitely know before July.”

Wilder has repeatedly said he is ready to fight anyone in the division, including current WBA, WBO and IBF champion Oleksandr Usyk 20-0 (13). The Ukrainian southpaw won the titles against Joshua by decision in September 2021 and retained the belts in their rematch again on points one year later.

“I’m all for it,” Wilder said to ESNews. “He’s a little afraid – not a little afraid, but a lot afraid.

“I’m in the business, so I know a lot of things. I’m ready to go any moment of time, place, no matter what it is. They know that. I’m simple.”

Meanwhile, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed that he is still exploring options for an August bout for his boxer.

“Right now our plan remains the same, August and Deontay Wilder in December so we’ll see what happens in Saudi Arabia this week,” Hearn told iFL TV. “That’s our plan, that’s what we’re moving forward with this week, if we can’t make that happen we’ll 100% look at the Tyson Fury fight.

“We’re being told that deal with Saudi Arabia is on the verge of being closed. But we will see. We are not closing the door to the Tyson Fury fight, we are just making sure that Anthony Joshua’s career goes according to plan and isn’t messed around by other people.”