ANDY RUIZ JR is on the comeback trail to become an unlikely two-time heavyweight champion.
Ruiz, 32, stunned Anthony Joshua, 31, in June 2019 to win the WBA, IBF and WBO belts but was beaten in the rematch six months later.
He then linked up with Canelo Alvarez's esteemed trainer Eddy Reynoso and dramatically cut down in weight.
He beat Chris Arreola, 40, in his comeback fight in May and wants to fight again by December.
Here, SunSport runs down five potential opponents for the Mexican-American
It's not likely, with Fury, 33, due to fight the winner between Dillian Whyte and Otto Wallin at the end of the month.
But if Whyte is beaten and activates his right to an immediate rematch, it leaves the Gypsy King in need of another option.
And outside of Deontay Wilder – who he beat for a second consecutive time – Ruiz is the biggest name out there for him in America.
Ruiz recently said: "That's exactly the belt I'm waiting for, you know. I got all the belts except the WBC so that's exactly what I'm praying for."
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If Whyte, 32, beats Wallin, 30, he will be mandatory for Fury's WBC title, but if he loses a rematch against the Swede will follow.
But, if either option falls by the wayside, Ruiz is the perfect alternative for the British contender.
The pair were in talks to fight in 2019 but were unable to agree terms and has kept the feud running.
Whyte's blend of power and with Ruiz's speed makes for an exciting matchup.
The Cuban, 42, has long been touted as a potential opponent for former champion Ruiz.
Outside of all the current contenders, Ortiz is the most skilled and notable name.
His only two losses have come against Wilder, and he has previously held talks with Ruiz.
This would be the best option for Ruiz ahead of either a mega-fight or world title challenge.
American Martin, 35, rose to fame in 2015 when he won the IBF world title but lost it after a laborious display against AJ.
He has since lost just once in his six fights since defeat to Joshua and is enjoying somewhat of a renaissance in his career.
Again it offers Ruiz a step up in competition before looking to reclaim the heavyweight title with southpaw pair Martin and Ortiz already considered.
He told Fight Hype: “There’s Charles Martin, Luis Ortiz. There’s a lot of guys out there for me. I just gotta stay busy and stay active.”
Ruiz was targeting New York-based Pole Kownacki, 32, for his return.
But the contender was coming off a loss to Robert Helenius, 37, and the pair recently rematched on Fury and Wilder's undercard.
Kownacki was again beaten meaning a fight with Ruiz is all-but off the table.
But, if he fancies rolling the dice, a win over Ruiz would catapult him right back into the heavyweight picture.
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