The long awaited announcement has been made.
Unified Heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua, is set to face American, Andy Ruiz Jr, in his USA debut at the Maddison Square Garden on June 1st 2019.
Joshua, 29, was originally billed to face Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller in New York, but the American was disqualified after he failed pre-fight drug tests.
Ruiz, also 29, has agreed to terms to fight Joshua, leaving only a few details left to be finalized before the bout.
A title fight with Joshua would not be Ruiz’s first rodeo, as the California-born fighter has fought for a world title fight before.
Matchroom boxing promoter, Eddie Hearn, believes that Ruiz will make a perfect opponent for Joshua, and will “do anything” to win.
“He will entertain you, give it his all. Even if it means getting sensationally knocked out, he will rather do that than not do it.
“I couldn’t afford a guy who I thought may not be good enough or game enough to entertain the fans. I had to pick a guy in my heart who I thought will do everything to become world heavyweight champion at the Garden.”
Ruiz beat Germany’s Alexander Dimitrenko on April 20, weighing in at 262lbs, which is 17lbs heavier than Joshua, when he faced Alexander Povetkin in September.
At 6ft 2in, Ruiz is four inches shorter than Joshua and will definitely have some trouble reaching the heavyweight champion.
In his only title fight, Ruiz went against Joseph Parker and lost on points. Only months later, Joshua defeated Parker to unify the WBA, IBF and WBO world title.
Joshua’s June 1st fight will end his nine months of inactivity, and possibly extend his 22-fight unbeaten record.
Featured image source: KOKO TV Nigeria