Anthony Joshua will be able to make his stateside debut when he faces off against late replacement Andy Ruiz Jr. on June 1, 2019 in New York City. The bout came to be after Jarrell Miller — Joshua’s original opponent — failed three drug tests.
While Ruiz wasn’t the biggest name available, Joshua says he was the only one who was willing to sign on the dotted line.
“Ruiz was game, ready, only just fought and lost to Parker in a close fight. It was about getting someone signed on the dotted line and make sure the date goes ahead. It is my time to announce myself in New York,” said Joshua in an interview with BBC.com.
Still, Anthony says he won’t be taking Ruiz lightly, as he is still heavy-handed and has a great record to back up his worth. That said, he does understand that a switch in opponent will be a drastic switch in styles.
“Ruiz and Miller are very different. Ruiz is more selective with his punches, he punches with a bit more intent. I feel Miller would walk you down with the intent to tire you out and do things you’re not naturally good at,” he added. “Ruiz will be more of a technical boxing match. If I can’t take his punching power, or he can’t take mine, then it will be the first who lands, because we punch with intent. And if we can take each other’s power, it will be the first one to tire.”
According to Anthony, his promoter Eddie Hearn made it worth Ruiz’s time financially to accept the bout. And that’s why he respects Ruiz for taking the short-notice fight, because Joshua has had trouble convincing the top names in boxing to face him.
“It is said that in my career I’ve navigated my way around fighters but it is clear we’ve made offers to Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder, Dillian Whyte and Ortiz and these fights haven’t been able to happen – not of our accord,” Joshua said.
“I don’t know what we’re doing wrong but we’ve made good offers to be the heavyweight champion of the world and to Ortiz to fight at Madison Square Garden.”
Indeed, fights against Fury and Wilder would do big numbers at the box office, but for one reason or another, the matchups have never been able to be put together. But according to Joshua (22-0), it’s not via any fault of his own.