Andy Ruiz Jr.’s apparent intransigence at the negotiating table makes him a nonstarter for a fight with Zhilei Zhang, according to one of Zhang’s representatives.
Terry Lane, a co-manager for the fast-rising Chinese heavyweight, indicated in a recent interview that his team would be looking to match Zhang against a proven former titlist for his next fight.
Lane suggested veterans like Luis Ortiz and Joseph Parker. But when he was asked about Ruiz, Lane did not sound very optimistic, saying the native of Imperial, California, is out-pricing himself.
“Andy Ruiz’s father is doing a great job at negotiating him into almost obscurity at this point,” Lane said on the YouTube channel GFunky Boxing along with host David Duenez. “He’s got to get realistic. He’s got to put a logical hat on. He’s just not, you know, reasonable, with anybody, and he’s got the outside-of-the-ring problems too. And no network wants to touch that.
“So…actually he should be coming a little more hat in hand to everybody. I would say that’s probably unrealistic.”
Lane’s comment dovetails with remarks by Deontay Wilder and his trainer Malik Scott, who has claimed that Ruiz was demanding a payday out of line with what he is actually worth. Wilder and Ruiz were in talks for the better of this year but were unable to come to an agreement.
Zhang has emerged as a hot commodity in the heavyweight ranks after his decisive third-round knockout of Joe Joyce in their rematch last month. Zhang stopped Joyce earlier in the year in their first encounter. The 40-year-old southpaw is under promotional contract with Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions.
“I like Andy but we’ll see what happens with that but I don’t see that happening next for us,” Lane said. “I see more of a Joseph Parker or an Ortiz. [Anthony] Joshua [is our] number one [choice], Wilder number two but those two guys are trying to fight as well. So we’re in this kind of where-are-we-at situation. But we’re in the mix.”
Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.