By Michael Benson
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman has revealed that Deontay Wilder now has a two-fight route which would lead him back to potentially facing Tyson Fury for a fourth time.
The Gypsy King shared a contentious draw in his first meeting with the American in 2018, then stopped him to take his WBC heavyweight world title in their 2020 rematch and retained it by KOing him in the 2021 trilogy bout.
With Wilder having failed to beat Fury in all three attempts, many consider that chapter of heavyweight boxing closed.
However, the WBC kept their former champion at number one in their rankings and have now revealed that he is part of a four-man mini tournament to determine the next mandatory challenger for Fury.
Prior to the Andy Ruiz Jr vs Luis Ortiz fight on Sunday, Sulaiman wrote in his column for Lopez Doriga: “Ruiz vs Ortiz is an official WBC elimination fight.
“The winner will get the pass to fight a final eliminator, and thus dispute the world championship.
“Deontay Wilder returns to the ring on October 15 to face Robert Helenius at the Barclays Center in another semi-final elimination bout.
“The winner goes against the winner between Ruiz vs Ortiz.”
Ruiz Jr beat Ortiz by unanimous decision on Sunday, thrusting himself into the final of this four-man mini tournament.
As Sulaiman stated, Wilder’s comeback fight against Helenius on October 15 will determine the second finallist.
The winner of Wilder/Helenius vs Ruiz Jr will then be the mandatory challenger for the WBC heavyweight title, currently held by Fury.
If he retains it over the coming year and Wilder wins his two upcoming bouts, a fourth fight between them would then be ordered by the WBC.
Wilder was ringside for Ruiz Jr’s win over Ortiz on Sunday and was asked in the aftermath about a potential fight against the victor.
Wilder replied: “Deontay Wilder’s back, we’re always looking for great, exciting fights.
“If that’s what lies up next, I’ve gotta handle business, but after that we can get it on.”
First, Wilder must win his comeback fight against Robert Helenius in October.
Ruiz Jr said of Wilder: “God willing he wins in October.
“We’re in the same organisation. I wanna thank Al Haymon. We can make this fight happen and let’s do it, let’s get it on.”