From a report in The Los Angeles Times and originally broken by Fox Sports Mike Coppinger, heavyweight Andy Ruiz Jr. is expected to be named the new opponent to challenge multiple world title holder Anthony Joshua on June 1st.
The fight slated at Madison Square Garden in New York City will be Joshua’s debut in the United States but hit a snag as original challenger Jarrell Miller failed several drug tests and was denied a license to fight in his home state of New York.
Ruiz (32-1, 21 KOs) is fresh off a fifth-round knockout of Alexander Dimitrenko April 20th in Carson, California on the Danny Garcia-Adrian Granados card. His name had been mentioned on a short list of replacement candidates which included Michael Hunter, World Boxing Association (WBA) secondary title holder Manuel Charr and (WBA) Gold titlist Trevor Bryan.
This would be Ruiz’s second chance to capture a world title as he and several others felt he was denied that in a close split decision loss to Joseph Park back in 2016.
Promoter Eddie Hearn was making the media rounds this past weekend had told the Los Angeles Times, “I like Andy Ruiz. He’s a character. “The tough sell with Andy Ruiz is, with the casual fan, they’re going to look at him in his shorts and say, ‘What’s that all about?’
He also added in an interview with Fighthype.com about Ruiz, “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.”
With this glowing priase for Ruiz, the only thing left is the official announcement that is expected to made sometime this week by Matchroom.
— AndyRuizjr (@Andy_destroyer1) April 29, 2019