Former WBO Heavyweight challenger Andy Ruiz Jr was announced as Anthony Joshua’s opponent in a much-anticipated bout on June 1 at Madison Square Garden, in New York City.
The Destroyer from Mexico replaces Jarrell Miller after the American’s failed drugs test ruled him out.
Ruiz Jr has only been defeated once in his career which came against Joseph Parker in 2016, when he narrowly missed out on the WBO crown that had been vacated by Tyson Fury.
And after the recent twist of events Ruiz Jr is set for the biggest fight of his career, with Eddie Hearn expecting him being prepared ‘do anything’ to become world champion.
Although Joshua remains a strong favourite, Ruiz Jr will pose a threat, having weighed in 17 lbs heavier than Joshua in his last bout against Alexander Dimitrenko on April 20.
Of course, Ruiz Jr wasn’t exactly the first choice opponent Joshua would have ideally chosen to face, with Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury, Dillian Whyte and Luis Ortiz also on the hit list.
Wilder and Fury both already had bouts arranged, while Ortiz surprisingly turned down various lucrative offers to fight for a world title again.
That leaves Whyte who, despite AJ claiming offers had been made for him to replace Miller, insists he held no such conversation to fight in New York on June 1.
“Anthony Joshua recently claimed that he has made offers to just about every heavyweight going this year, including myself,” Whyte told talkSPORT.
“I can say right now – on my left hand – AJ and Eddie Hearn did not make me an offer for the fight in New York after Jarrell Miller’s failed drug tests.