It might not be the fight that was originally confirmed, but Anthony Joshua will go toe-to-toe with Andy Ruiz Jr as he makes his US debut in June. Controversy has littered the build-up to AJ’s next fight, as Jarrell Miller was meant to be Joshua’s opponent but he failed two drug tests in the lead-up.
Miller’s wrongdoings have paved the way for Ruiz Jr to have his shot at the undefeated Joshua, and the American-Mexican will most likely provide stern opposition when they meet at Madison Square Garden next month. Ahead of Joshua’s 23rd professional fight, we’ve provided a preview of the bout, but be sure to check out the Betfair odds for Anthony Joshua v Andy Ruiz Jr.
AJ has won all 22 of his professional bouts and his last victory came against Alexander Povetkin in September, whereby he successfully defended his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles. Povetkin put in an admirable performance at Wembley Stadium but ultimately, AJ had enough about him and he won by TKO in the seventh round.
Prior to that, Joshua faced one of his hardest tests in the shape of Joseph Parker and was victorious via a unanimous decision against the Kiwi. Some might argue this was one of Joshua’s toughest opponents to date, but the Brit always looked in control despite Parker’s valiant efforts and he did cause AJ a few concerns.
And this is exactly what Ruiz Jr must look to do come 1st June to have any chance of causing an upset, and his only professional defeat came against Parker in 2016. To date, Ruiz Jr has won 32 of his 33 professional bouts so he certainly knows how to win, but fighting someone of Joshua’s caliber could well provide a shock to the system.
Ruiz Jr’s last fight was against Alexander Dimitrenko in April, and the American-Mexican was victorious after a corner retirement, but he was certainly made to work for his victory. You have to go back to July 2018 for Ruiz’s next victory, beating American Kevin Johnson on a unanimous point’s decision.
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As you’d come to expect, AJ is the firm favorite with the bookies and it’s nigh on impossible to not see him extend his perfect record (22-0). The Brit doesn’t have much to gain from potentially beating Ruiz Jr, but the American-Mexican is deceptively quick when he needs to be.
‘The Destroyer’ is one of the larger fighters in the heavyweight division and he boasts a lot of stamina and durability, something he’ll need to call upon if he is to match Joshua and even do the impossible and beat him.
Ruiz’s best tactic is to try and unsettle AJ early on, although that’s easier said than done, it could go a long way in destabilizing Joshua in later rounds and who knows what could happen from there.
But in reality, AJ should have too much about him to be troubled and it’ll be more of a surprise to see the fight last the full 12 rounds, with both fighters only averaging 3.8 rounds per fight (Joshua) and 5.5 rounds (Ruiz Jr)
Joshua round 6 @ 15/2