Joshua-Ruiz Official For June 1st
After two weeks of negotiations and uncertainty, Anthony Joshua finally has an opponent for June 1st at Madison Square Garden.
Andy Ruiz Jr, who had been rumored to be the official pick all week, has signed on to face the unified world heavyweight champion just two weeks after having his most recent fight.
Ruiz will look to become the first Mexican heavyweight champion in the sport’s history when they face off on June 1st, as he looks to overcome the quick turnaround from his win over Alexander Dimitrenko on April 20th.
“The chills – I’m really excited for this fight,” said Ruiz. “There’s nervousness in me, but they’re happy nerves. This is my chance to make history, I want to be one of those greats like Chavez, Tyson, Holyfield, Lennox Lewis. I want to be in that category. Thanks to God for everything that he put in me, I just can’t wait.
“I think the fight is going toe-to-toe, two guys smashing each other’s faces,” Ruiz continued in a press release. “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.
“When I do pull out this win, everything is going to change. I’m going to bring the titles back to Mexico, it’s going to mean everything. I’m going to be able to change my whole family’s lives; my life and all my kids. It’s a win-win situation right now, but the main thing is to win the fight and make history.”
“Ruiz is a different kind of challenge but one I embrace,” said Joshua. “We have worked in the boxing gym week on week and whomever is put in front of me at Madison Square Garden on June 1 will be dispatched in style. The rent will be collected.”
“After a tricky week I am delighted to announce Andy Ruiz Jr. as AJ’s opponent for his US debut at MSG on June 1,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “People talk about fighting AJ, some even have to fill their bodies with PEDs to try and beat him up, but very few genuine fighters step up and take the challenge.
“When we selected the opponent, I wanted someone with fire in their heart, someone who genuinely believed that they can win and become World Heavyweight champion. Andy showed that desire.
“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 on June head on at the Garden. Do not blink!”