Anthony Joshua put his WBA ‘Super’, IBF and WBO belts on the line against newly confirmed opponent Andy Ruiz Jr on his US debut in New York, on June 1.
The 29-year-old Mexican firmly believes he is the man to defeat Joshua, but promoter Eddie Hearn states AJ is “ready to erupt”.
Ruiz Jr will face the unified heavyweight champion at Madison Square Garden, live on Sky Sports Box Office and DAZN, after Joshua’s original opponent Jarrell Miller failed successive drug tests.
Speaking to the media Hearn has been quoted as saying “I’m just glad that AJ and the people who know boxing, know how difficult a fight this is because when you look at the guy, you think it’s going to be easy work for Anthony Joshua,
“So a lot of people have thought ‘this guy’s not in Joshua’s shape’ – he’s not. But what he does have is tremendous boxing IQ, fast hands, good work rate and he’s not afraid to let his hands go. He’s one of the reasons I wanted to choose him because I know him, I know what he’s all about.
“Look at his response today, and look at the response from people in boxing – they say this is a much tougher fight than Jarrell Miller because he has much faster hands, he likes to move inside, he has a great amateur pedigree as well, and this is a massive banana skin.
“AJ doesn’t really have a lot to gain, because the outsiders are saying ‘he’ll win that fight easy’, but talk to people around here and you’ll get the reaction from them today. They know this is a real, real, tough, tough fight.
“Andy Ruiz has a chance to make history and become the first-ever [Mexican] world heavyweight champion. Mexico is behind Ruiz and he believes he’s going to do it. He really believes he’ll beat Joshua.
“With everything that’s happened, AJ is ready to erupt at Madison Square Garden. He can’t wait to make his American debut. It’s going to be an amazing week. We’ve got the most unbelievable activities planned around the fight.
“It’s going to be a huge moment for his career. He’s just got to be on it and focused, because Ruiz is going to be a little Pitbull in the ring at Madison Square Garden.”
Watch Anthony Joshua against Andy Ruiz Jr at Madison Square Garden in New York on June 1, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Written By Kenny Leavett.