Eddie Hearn Looks To Stage Wilder-Ruiz In The Middle East This Summer
Matchroom chairman Eddie Hearn confirmed to media outlet ‘International Boxing News‘ that June 3 is a possible, and NoSmokeSport understands likely, date for the next edition of the ‘Champions Series’ in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Matchroom debuted in the region last November when they staged 3 title fights topped by Dmitry Bivol‘s dominant decision win over Zurdo Ramirez to retain his Light Heavyweight title in the main fight. Chantelle Cameron became undisputed with a convincing win over Jessica McCaskill and Manchester’s Zelfa Barrett suffered a 9th-round TKO loss to Shvkat Rakhimov despite being ahead in the fight.
There were rumours circulating that Bivol would once again top the Abu Dhabi bill in June, likely against British contender Joshua Buatsi, but Hearn has now told International Boxing News that he would like to make a fight between the former WBC Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and former unified champion Andy Ruiz for June 3.
Wilder and Ruiz were supposed to collide in a WBC final eliminator on a PBC pay-per-view card in the late spring/early summer but ESPN’s Mike Coppinger reported that the PBC couldn’t financially satisfy both fighters. This doesn’t come as a major surprise as multiple outlets have reported that Wilder’s last bout generated only 75k PPV buys in the US whilst Ruiz’s clash against Ortiz did even less at an alleged 65k.
The ‘Bronze Bomber’ has since claimed to 78SPORTSTV that he is an ‘open agent’ and will field offers from different promoters for his next fight.
The former champion specifically mentioned the ‘Middle East’ when discussing where his fight with Ruiz could land, in line with what Hearn has stated. The British promoter has confirmed that talks between himself and Wilder’s team have been much more positive recently than in the years prior and even reluctantly hinted that he was talking to them last week.
Hearn taking that fight to the Middle East would be a major play, not only for his business and DAZN, but staging a fight that his major rivals in the PBC-Showtime/Fox cannot afford to make. Positive conversations between Hearn and Wilder’s team also create a path to a transatlantic showdown years in the making between Wilder and British star Anthony Joshua for late 2023/early 2024.