Meet Andy Ruiz Jr, The Man Who's Fighting Heavyweight World Champion Anthony Joshua
Don't be fooled by Andy Ruiz Jr's appearance - he can fight.
Ruiz Jr has officially been confirmed as the man to face Anthony Joshua at Madison Square Garden on June 1 following Jarrell Miller's withdrawal.
Joshua's original opponent Miller failed not one but THREE drug tests and was subsequently removed from the main-event slot.
On June 1 @thegarden in NYC @anthonyfjoshua will defend his World Heavyweight Titles against @Andy_destroyer1 live on @DAZN_USA @SkySportsBoxing - AJ will make his U.S debut at the mecca of boxing, Ruiz will have the chance to become Mexico's first World heavyweight champ :flag_gb::flag_us::flag_mx: pic.twitter.com/yofqrcCTsZ
- Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) May 1, 2019
Fellow American Ruiz Jr has got the call to replace Miller and he's eager to make history.
"This is my chance to make history," he said. "I want to be one of those greats like Julio Cesar Chavez, Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis. I want to be in that category."
The 29-year-old boasts an impressive record. He's racked up a 32-1 record including a stoppage victory over Alexander Dimitrenko.
He suffered his sole defeat to Joseph Parker.
The WBO world title fight against Parker in New Zealand was an extremely close fight, with the 'home fighter' eking out a majority decision victory.
Ruiz Jr has since rattled off three straight wins and is now in line to fight for the unified heavyweight titles. He'll also be seeking to become Mexico's very first boxing world heavyweight champion.
"Every fight I always eat a Snickers before I jump in the ring."
Andy Ruiz Jr lets us in to a little secret on his pre fight routine and then calls out @AKbabyface
Who would win that fight? pic.twitter.com/yJjhnkDfL8
- ITV Boxing (@ITVBoxing) April 21, 2019
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The 6 ft 2 fighter is renowned for his hand speed and punching power and he's expecting to trade leather with Joshua.
"I think the fight is going toe-to-toe, two guys smashing each other's faces," he said. "I'm going in there to throw combinations like I've never done before, to improve my speed.
"A lot of people underestimated me, and I'm used to that. My whole life people underrated me so I'm just going in there to take all. I'm not going in there scared and I'm not going in there nervous, I'm going to go in there mad and to take what's mine."
Heavyweight king Joshua is embracing the new challenge.
"Ruiz Jr is a different kind of challenge but one I embrace," he said. "We have worked in the boxing gym week on week and whoever is put in front of me at Madison Square Garden on June 1 will be dispatched in style. The rent will be collected."
Is Joshua vs. Ruiz Jr a better fight than Joshua vs. Miller? Well, unlike the latter, there's no beef with Ruiz Jr but he's a live dog who could potentially cause Joshua serious problems on fight night.
Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn believes Joshua vs. Ruiz Jr is a better match-up.
"In my opinion, this is a tougher test than Jarrell Miller. Andy punches harder and is much faster. This is going to be a war. Andy brings Mexican heart but he will meet the best heavyweight in the world in June head on at the Garden. Do not blink!"
Can Ruiz Jr cause a seismic shift in boxing's heavyweight division? Tune in on June 1 to find out.
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