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.