Andy Ruiz Jr. Chosen for Anthony Joshua

By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent

New York, NY (May 1st, 2019)– Andy Ruiz Jr. has been selected as the heavyweight replacement for Jarrell Miller to fight World Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua at Madison Square Garden in the main event on June 1, 2019. Ruiz, 32-1 with 21 knockouts, Imperial, California, has been fighting professionally for 10 years, and gets his second world title shot at age 29.

Atg 6’2” and 262 pounds, Andy is too short and too heavy, sort of a younger version of Chris Arreola. Joshua will have superior height, hand speed and foot movement, and will break Ruiz down. Only 10 days after stopping Alexander Dimitrenko in the fifth round in Carson, California, Andy basically has less than 30 days to train for Joshua before the weigh-in on May 30, 2019, the day before the 12 round would title bout. Whether Ruiz gets the six million plus payday Miller would have received not the key understanding. Simply put, Ruiz does not have sufficient time to recover from the Dimitrenko bout and train in complete for Joshua.

What is known is Andy Ruiz Jr. is living in the United States, and since Joshua, 22-0 with 21 knockouts, Walford, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, is making his American debut at the Garden, Ruiz, Mike Hunter and Trevor Bryan, as the available American candidates, were the only true serious contenders. Agit Kabayel, Manuel Charr, and Daniel Dubois had their name in the Joshua mix. Hunter continues to train for Joshua in the hopes he still will somehow get the bout. Promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing noted Andy Ruiz is a natural heavyweight, but is still too portly to make a real go of it, which makes Ruiz the underdog. Any fighter against Joshua is the underdog anyway. Perhaps Andy’s pudgy appearance makes him appear an easier mark, and this is why Andy was selected. Joshua has height and reach advantage, and it is like putting Muhammad Ali in with Canadian punching bag George Chuvalo. Ruiz, like Chuvalo, has a big heart, but this bout destined to be a mismatch, with Ruiz becoming a 12 round mostly stationary Joshua punching bag.

What is most interesting here is Jarrell Miller’s legal failure to follow the rules of the New York State Athletic Commission. The second chance selection of Andy Ruiz to replace Miller provides boxing fans and all sports fans with an educaiton that professional athletics maintain rules and codeof conduct which must folowed. If not, there are consequences. Owing to his recent win over DImitrenko, RUiz truly deserves the 6.5 million dolalr payday he will get for stepping in to fight Joshua, and will sincerely try to win as the best world title challenger out there.

Ruiz deserves a shot, and he may as well take his chance, but Andy is simply not in Joshua’s league at this point, despite his decade of hard work and with respect for his hard work. After 10 years, Andy has put in the work and sweat to deserve the mega payday. Hats off to Andy with compliments for taking this opportunity bout on short notice and taking Joshua on. This may be somewhat of an exciting fight if Joshua gets reckless and careless, and gets caught sleepwalking. Andy will try his heart out, but after about six or seven rounds, the mismatch will be evident. Ruiz may go the distance or not, depending on what game plan he puts into play. Ruiz can go the distance and survive all 12 rounds if he fights a survival type fight. If he fights to win, like Wladimir Klitschko, Ruiz will get stopped late, or take a one-sided beating.

‘Destroyer’ can become Mexico’s first Heavyweight ruler against AJ at MSG on June 1

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Andy Ruiz Jr. has landed a dream World title shot at Heavyweight king Anthony Joshua OBE on Saturday June 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK.

Ruiz (32-1 21 KOs) can become the first ever Mexican Heavyweight World champion when he meets AJ at the vaunted Manhattan boxing mecca and comes into the bout in fine form. The 29 year old recorded his 21st KO win on his 32 fight ledger when he forced the retirement of Alexander Dimitrenko after five rounds of their clash in Carson, California ten days ago.

The Californian-based Mexican is in his second World title tilt having pushed Joseph Parker to the limit for the WBO crown in the Kiwi’s Auckland hometown in December 2016, being edged out by the finest of margins via majority decision.

Joshua (22-0 21 KOs) defends his IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO crowns for the second time, as his eighth World title fight lands on his hotly-anticipated American debut after KOing Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium, London in September. That was the second dramatic KO win for the Londoner in the national stadium of his hometown, with today’s announcement coming two years and one day after his epic victory over former undisputed World ruler Wladimir Klitschko.

Ruiz has a golden opportunity to stop Joshua’s own quest to become the undisputed king dead in it’s tracks, and the challenger believes it is his destiny to stun Joshua and become Heavyweight World champion in the Big Apple.

“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. 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.

“I think being so tall he fights like a big robot. I think with my style, my speed, my movement, I don’t think he’s fought anybody like me. It’s going to be a whole different ball game. All the guys that he’s fought, they usually run around from him. I don’t think he’s good going back. I’m going to bring the pressure, the speed, and the combinations to him.

“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!”

“Credit to Andy Ruiz Jr. for taking on this challenge. He said he wanted to fight for the World Heavyweight championship in 2019 and immediately backed up his words when given the opportunity,” said Joseph Markowski, DAZN Executive Vice President, North America.

“We’re also very happy to be working with a true champion like AJ, who told us he would fight anyone put in front of him – even on short notice. Clearly, he is a man of character who is committed to his craft, as well as his partners and the legions of fans traveling in from the UK to watch his US debut.”

Adam Smith, Head of Sky Sports Boxing, said: “Andy Ruiz Jr. has snatched the golden ticket for a clash with Britain’s unified champion Anthony Joshua and he’ll bring fast hands, World Heavyweight championship experience – and a more proven pedigree than Jarrell Miller.

“When I saw Anthony in camp last week his message was clear, ‘Line them all up!’ He really wants to dominate the division and Ruiz Jr is the first man in his way.

“It will be an absolutely thrilling night on Sky Sports Box Office as AJ makes his US debut in the iconic Madison Square Garden – and the incredible Katie Taylor bids to become the undisputed world Lightweight champion!”

Joshua and Ruiz clash on a huge night of action at Madison Square Garden with Irish sensation Katie Taylor clashing with Delfine Persoon for the undisputed Women’s World Lightweight championship – with more undercard fights to be announced shortly.

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Robert Brizel - Head Boxing Correspondent
Robert Brizel - Head Boxing Correspondent
Robert is the Head Boxing Correspondent for Real Combat Media Boxing since 2013. Robert is also a photographer and ringside reporter for the RCM Tri State region which includes NJ, NY and PA. Robert conducts exclusive interviews, provides historical boxing articles and provides editorial ringside coverage of major boxing events. You can contact or follow Robert on Facebook and by email at