DATE: Saturday June 1
VENUE: Madison Square Garden, New York
AT STAKE: Joshua’s WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles
PROMOTER: Matchroom Boxing
TELEVISION: Sky Sports Box Office (UK) and DAZN (US)
THE CASE FOR JOSHUA
MUCH has been made of Andy Ruiz Jnr’s portly appearance, and while looks can be deceiving, it is plainly apparent that he is by no means in tip-top shape. The Adonis-like Anthony Joshua, in contrast, is a supreme athlete. The 6ft 6in Watford colossus is not only four inches taller than Ruiz, but also has an eight-inch reach advantage at 82ins. The physically dominant Brit commands the centre of the ring with his formidable jab, which he put to particularly good use when unanimously outpointing Joseph Parker in their March 2018 unification clash. Worryingly for Ruiz, when he dropped a contentious majority decision to Parker in their December 2016 vacant WBO title bout, he was susceptible to the New Zealander’s jab.
Although Ruiz enjoyed an extensive amateur career, during which he competed at the 2007 World Championships, Joshua achieved far more in the unpaid ranks, including a World silver medal in 2011 and Olympic gold a year later. His level of opposition as a pro surpasses that of Ruiz, too. The only opponent of serious note on the Mexican-American’s record is Parker, whereas Joshua has boxed, and beaten, the likes of Dillian Whyte (rsf 7 – December 2015), Wladimir Klitschko (rsf 11 – April 2017) and Alexander Povetkin (rsf 7 – September 2018), in addition to Parker.