HEAVYWEIGHT world champion Anthony Joshua will defend his titles against California-based Mexican Andy Ruiz Jr in New York on June 1, the Briton’s promoter announced yesterday.
Joshua, the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO world champion, had been scheduled to fight American Jarrell Miller but the New York State Athletic Commission refused to sanction the fight after Miller failed a drugs test.
Ruiz is hoping to become Mexico’s first heavyweight world champion.
“It’s time to make history. On June 1 we’re going to make history,” he said in a YouTube interview with Matchroom Boxing.
“I want to be one of those greats like (Julio Cesar) Chavez, (Mike) Tyson, (Evander) Holyfield, Lennox Lewis. I want to be in that category. This is my time, this is my chance.”
“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 thrown before,” added Ruiz.
“A lot of people underestimated me. I’m used to that. I’m not going in there scared or nervous. I’m going in there mad to take what’s mine.”
The fight will be 2012 Olympic super-heavyweight champion Joshua’s first title bout outside of Britain.
The 29-year-old has a professional record of 22 wins, which includes 21 knockouts.
Ruiz, also 29, has a record of 32 wins, 21 by knockout, and one defeat — his loss coming in a majority decision against New Zealander Joseph Parker in Auckland in 2016 for the vacant WBO belt. – Reuters