What If Andy Ruiz Jr is Joshua’s June Opponent?

Andy Ruiz Jr outpoints trialhorse Kevin Johnson over 10 rounds. Joshua destroyed the man from Georgia in 2 rounds.

Would the Californian be an acceptable opponent for the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight champion of the world?

Ruiz’s win over Alexander Dimitrenko on April 20th in Carson, California was hailed as a great win, and it was only the 5th loss of the big Russian’s 46 fight career, but Ruiz has beaten this level of opposition before. He looks the same fighter that beat Kevin “Kingpin” Johnson in his last outing.

It might sound as if I am raining on the Californian’s parade, but that is not the intention at all. I think that Ruiz has some excellent skills, speed and power that could take him to the highest levels of the heavyweight division.

I do however belief that his conditioning is hindering his progress. He will stay at the level he is currently at and not get any further due to his weight.

Dimitrenko was once rated as a top prospect in Europe, he had wins over Timo Hoffman, Derric Rossy (18-1-0 at the time), and Luan Krasniqi before his 1st loss to Eddie Chambers in a WBO title eliminator. When Dimitrenko came back a year later he won the EBU title and defended it with a 12th round Ko of Poland’s Albert Sosnowski who 2 fights earlier had challenged Vitali Klitschko for the WBC heavyweight crown.

Further losses to Kubrat Pulev (Ko 11), Joseph Parker (Ko 3) and Bryant Jennings (Tko 9) proved that the 6’ 7” giant had found his level short of world class. So Ruiz’s win has to be put into perspective.

Ruiz has other names on his record such as the 2014 unanimous decision win over 10 rounds against former WBO champion Siarhei Liakhovich, and yet the man from Belarus had lost his previous 3 bouts, all by stoppage to Robert Helenius, Bryant Jennings, and Deontay Wilder.

There is nothing in Ruiz’s record that suggests that he can provide a stiff test for Joshua at this stage of his career. The experience the Englishman has gained against the likes of Klitschko, Takam, Whyte, Breazeale, Parker, and Povetkin in competitive matches puts him on a far superior level.

Ruiz Jr loses on points in a close fight for the vacant WBO heavyweight title against Joseph Parker in New Zealand.

The one comparison that Ruiz’s management can use is his majority decision loss in a vacant WBO world title fight against Joseph Parker in the Kiwi’s homeland. Three fights later Parker lost his title to Joshua in a unification bout at The Principality Stadium, Wales on a unanimous decision. However, Parker never even came close to winning against the champion from Watford.

Ruiz needs wins over a higher level of opposition before he gets a chance at the likes of Joshua or Wilder. He also needs to get his conditioning under control.

I hope that Ruiz Jr fights the likes of Povetkin, Ortiz or Pulev before he gets another title chance, and not get fed to the lions against Joshua on June 1st.

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