A deal is nearly finalized for WBA/WBO/IBF World Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua to face against Andy Ruiz Jr on June 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Joshua was originally scheduled to face Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller. Miller was denied a license by the New York Athletic Commission due to failing three different tests for PEDs.
Fighters such as Luis Ortiz, who was the front runner to land the assignment and turned down an offer for reportedly more than $5 million dollars, Michael Hunter and Manuel Charr had previously been mentioned as possible replacements.
It would be a short turn around for Ruiz, who fought on April 20, when he stopped Alexander Dimitrenko in five rounds. The fight was the co-featured bout underneath the Danny Garcia-Adrian Granados Fox televised main event and was the first fight of Ruiz’s new deal with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions.
Ruiz lost a majority decision to Joseph Parker in 2016 in a fight for the then vacant WBO heavyweight title. Parker defended the title twice before losing it to Joshua last spring. Ruiz felt he deserved to get the victory over Parker and wants another chance at that title.
“We will be ready on June 1st. I’m coming for those belts. That WBO belt belongs to me. Everyone knows I beat Parker,” Ruiz told BoxingScene.com on April 22nd.
Ruiz has won 3 fights in a row since the loss to Parker.