American heavyweight Andy Ruiz Jr will be stepping in as the replacement for Jarrell Miller in Anthony Joshua’s boxing debut in the American soil this June.
Joshua, 29, was slated to lock horns with the undefeated Miller but the latter failed multiple drug tests ahead of the fight, which made him ineligible to challenge the Briton.
Interestingly, it was Miller who accused Joshua of using performance-enhancing drugs during the first leg of the fight build up.
The New York State Athletic Commission refused to grant Miller a license to fight Joshua but did not punish him with a fixed ban due to the boxing system in the US.
As the aftermath of his anti-doping violation, Miller was slapped with a six-month suspension by the World Boxing Association.
With Miller now out of the picture, reports claimed that Ruiz Jr “has agreed to terms” to challenge Joshua for the WBA, IBF and WBO world titles.
Andy Ruiz Jr set to be named as Anthony Joshua's opponent for New York bout in June.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) April 30, 2019
Ruiz Vs Joshua Heavyweight Fight
According to multiple reports, both camps are “very close” to reaching a deal for the heavyweight fight in Madison Square Garden on June 1.
Ruiz Jr has fought in a world title fight once.
He took on Joseph Parker in 2016 for the vacant WBO heavyweight title but came up short in the judges’ scorecards.
It was Ruiz’s first and lone defeat in 34 professional boxing fights.
After this loss, Ruiz cruised to three straight wins including a first-round knockout of Devin Vargas.
Ruiz Jr. will be looking to extend this winning streak when he marches on the biggest fight of his career against Joshua.
AJ remains unscathed in 22 outings, with 21 of these fights were won via knockout.
He holds notable wins against big names such as Wladimir Klitschko, Dillian Whyte, and Joseph Parker.
His most recent win was against Alexander Povetkin when he defended all his four world titles for the first time last September.
Ruiz Jr: An Entertaining Fight
Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, assured that Ruiz Jr would be a worthy opponent for his client and boxing fans would be treated to an entertaining fight.
Hearn told Fight Hype that he only picked a guy who is capable of giving the fans a great show.
“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.” -(Quotes from Fox Sports Asia)
Meanwhile, AJ’s former opponent, Whyte, said Ruiz would be an easy one for the British champ and described the pairing as a “save-the-show fight.”
(Featured Image Source: Instagram/Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr.)