Andy Ruiz Jr. is giving 50 million reasons to remind everyone who the champ is now.
Andy Ruiz Jr. has become a celebrity since his historic win over Anthony Joshua.
From starting at under 100,000 Instagram followers to almost one million after his upset victory, becoming the first heavyweight champion of Mexican descent has been good for Ruiz, Jr. He’s hit the press circuit hard, even appearing on popular late night talk show “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”, taking full advantage of his new found celebrity status.
But the business of the ring is nagging at him again, with a rematch clause now activated by Joshua promoter, Eddie Hearn. But the question is where will the fight happen?
According to Ruiz Jr., he will only fight in Joshua’s native U.K. if he is paid a hefty sum; $50 million to be exact.
“If they want me to go over there, they’ve got to give me $50 million,” Ruiz said to Fight Hub TV. “If they want to come over here, It’s just negotiations – you know.”
Ruiz Jr. was a last minute replacement for original opponent Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller, who was dropped due to failed PED tests. Despite being a huge underdog, Ruiz, Jr. pocketed $7 million for the current upset of year frontrunner.
But his well deserved his victory has thrown off the big fight fans have been clamoring for between Joshua and Deontay Wilder. The two, along with lineal heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury, have been jockeying for position as the best heavyweight on the planet.
Now it seems that Ruiz has upset the “natural” order of the division and who’s sitting in the driver’s seat in the re-match negotiations.
What is the A Side?
In boxing, the A side is the lead fighter in the promotion. His team calls the shots in relation to pay-per-view percentages, arena gate splits, broadcast rights and more.
As the incoming champion, Joshua held all the cards and was smart enough to insure a rematch in case a loss occurred. Now that it occurred, it will be interesting to see how many details were included in the rematch clause to insure his choice of venue location.
Keep in mind that while Eddie Hearn was the leading voice in the first round of the match’s negotiations, Ruiz Jr. is now the champ and he’s represented by Al Haymon.
Now with both Wilder and Ruiz in his stable, Haymon virtually runs the heavyweight division with all the belts from the five major sanctioning bodies. Wilder has the coveted WBC green belt and Ruiz the WBA (Super), WBO, IBF, and IBO heavyweight titles.
Fury’s title is the lineal title, meaning he is the man that beat the man in boxing when he defeated Wladimir Klitschko back in 2015.
Haymon is known t be a shrewd negotiator and kept his leverage with star former client, Floyd Mayweather, keeping all his fights in Las Vegas from his 2006 matchup with Zab Judah until his final fight against Conor McGregor in 2017.
If Ruiz, Jr. now has the leverage, he will probably want to keep the fight in the States. With Joshua’s first loss coinciding with his first Stateside appearance, Hearn and Team Joshua have to be careful with location negotiations.
With Joshua already receiving a nine figure payday from his DAZN fight contract and a reported $25 million for the loss, Ruiz is probably now scrambling to gain location leverage and prove he is the main attraction. However, with the bar set at $50 million, the negotiations might get heavy or be stalled.
But regardless, it appears Ruiz Jr. is in driver’s seat in this car.