Heavyweight Andy Ruiz Jr. has withdrawn from a world title elimination fight against fellow unbeaten rising contender Hughie Fury.
The fight was supposed to take place Oct. 29 at Manchester Arena in Fury's hometown of Manchester, England. The fight would have been the undercard of Fury's cousin, heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury, meeting Wladimir Klitschko in a rematch.
Promoter Frank Warren announced the fight earlier this month, doing so a few days before Ruiz was scheduled to face Franklin Lawrence. After Ruiz (29-0, 19 KOs) cruised to a lopsided decision victory -- 100-90, 99-91, 99-91 -- and came out of the fight with no injuries, both sides expected the deal to be finalized.
On Friday, however, Ruiz elected not to sign for the fight he had previously agreed to, according to Top Rank, Ruiz's promoter.
"He didn't want to sign the contract, and unfortunately they [Ruiz and his father, Andy Ruiz Sr.] decided not to go through with the fight," Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti told ESPN.com. "If I agreed with them, we'd both be wrong."
Moretti said there was no injury preventing the bout.
"There are no physical restrictions preventing him from going through with the fight," Moretti said.
It is not the first time that Ruiz, 27, a Mexico native fighting out of Imperial, California, has pulled out a fight for reasons other than an injury.
He was scheduled to fight Dan Batchelder on Jan. 16 in the main event of a UniMas-televised card in Dallas, but he pulled out because, according to Top Rank, he was "not mentally ready to fight." Ruiz eventually returned on May 14 and knocked out former world title challenger Ray Austin in the fourth round.
Ruiz also racked up a third-round knockout of Josh Gormley on July 16. He then defeated Lawrence in what was supposed to be a tuneup fight ahead of the title elimination bout against Fury. The winner of Ruiz-Fury would have earned a mandatory title shot at a world title.
The fight would have been a step up in competition for Ruiz and the 21-year-old Fury (20-0, 10 KOs), who is coming off a seventh-round technical decision against experienced veteran Fred Kassi on April 30. Ruiz's biggest wins came against former titlist Sergei Liakhovich and Austin, but both were far beyond their prime.
Warren has not yet announced if Fury will remain on the Oct. 29 card and face another opponent.