ON the day that it was officially announced that he would fight Californian Andy Ruiz Jnr on June 1, unbeaten world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua painted a bleak picture of the sport’s current stance on the use of performance-enhancing drugs, describing doping in boxing as being “out of control”.
Joshua was originally due to defend his WBA, IBF and WBO titles against Jarrell Miller in New York next month, but that bout was scrapped when the challenger failed three separate drug tests for three different substances. Ruiz has now come in as a replacement opponent for the Madison Square Garden clash, with Joshua labelling Miller’s behaviour as “shocking”.
“Ruiz is more rounded [than Miller] and he’s better with his punch selection,” Joshua said of his newly confirmed rival. “It’s a tough fight. He comes across as one of those fighters who feels like he’s never been hurt. He comes to fight and probably has that confidence that he can walk through anyone. But Miller would’ve been tough, too, with his size and physicality. [After the positive tests], we now know why he was so physical and had such a high work rate.