After the trials and tribulations of the Jarrell Miller failed drug tests episode and the hunt to find a suitable replacement opponent, WBA Super, WBO, IBF and IBO world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua finally makes his American debut on the huge Matchroom/DAZN show at the iconic Madison Square Garden this Saturday June 1st.
With the Miller debacle behind him Joshua has had to deal with intense media inquisition regarding a unification match against WBC champion Deontay Wilder both before and after Wilder’s explosive 1st round knockout of mandatory contender Dominic Breazeale, only for the resident of Tuscaloosa, Alabama to announce a 3-fight deal that precludes him from taking part in a bout with the Englishman anytime before the end of 2020 at the earliest.
This is all a part of the Anthony Joshua roadshow which must grate on the nerves of America’s only world heavyweight champion of recent times because despite a hugely impressive 41-0-1 40 Ko’s record, he cannot sell out venues in his own country or produce the same volume of media outlet revenue that the Watford man can.
The biggest danger for Joshua would be to overlook his opponent, Mexican American Andy Ruiz Jr because the Californian has talent and has proved himself at world level before when he lost a contentious decision to Joseph Parker when challenging for the vacant WBO heavyweight title in Parker’s home country of New Zealand back in December 2016.
Ruiz was a decorated amateur and has taken part in 33 professional bouts against some very good opposition so would pose a threat to any world-class heavyweight.
Joshua, forever the consummate professional does not see Ruiz as anything but a threat to his reign as heavyweight champion and has structured his training under the watchful eye of Rob McCracken to allow for the change in style from the 300lb Miller to the fast hands and clever footwork that Ruiz possesses.
Styles make fights and Ruiz Jr will present some new problems for Joshua to face, especially in the early stages, but ultimately the man bidding to become the first Mexican to win a world heavyweight title is coming up against the most complete heavyweight in the division who is improving at a fast rate.
I think we are in for an exciting fight where Ruiz Jr has some success in the early rounds with his fast hands, feet and head movement but will be picked apart by Joshua’s good footwork and heavy counters until the Mexican slows down and is knocked out around rounds 4-6.
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