Anthony Joshua next opponent confirmed as Andy Ruiz Jr for New York debut after Jarrell Miller banned

Ruiz, 29, has 32 wins from his 33 professional fights, having been beaten by Joseph Parker, by majority decision, in 2016

Samuel Lovett
Wednesday 01 May 2019 11:23
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Anthony Joshua talks about Miller's failed drugs test

Andy Ruiz Jr has been unveiled as Anthony Joshua‘s new opponent following Jarrell Miller’s failed drugs tests.

Joshua’s promoter, Matchroom Boxing, confirmed the news on Wednesday morning, announcing that the American has agreed terms for the Madison Square Garden bout.

“CONFIRMED: @anthonyfjoshua will defend his World Heavyweight Titles vs @Andy_destroyer1 Ruiz, June 1 @TheGarden!” a tweet read on the official Matchroom Boxing account.

Joshua, holder of the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles, has been searching for a new opponent ahead of his United States bow on 1 June after Miller was handed a six-month ban for doping.

Ruiz, 29, has 32 wins from his 33 professional fights, having been beaten by Joseph Parker, by majority decision, in 2016. Joshua defeated New Zealander Parker last year, taking his WBO crown.

Ruiz only fought last on April 20, beating German Alexander Dimitrenko, who retired after the fifth round.

Promoter Eddie Hearn said: “He will entertain you, give it his all. Even if it means getting sensationally knocked out, he will rather do that than not do it.

“I couldn’t afford a guy who I thought may not be good enough or game enough to entertain the fans. I had to pick a guy in my heart who I thought will do everything to become world heavyweight champion at the Garden.”

Miller has since apologised after failing two Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (Vada) tests, one for the banned substance GW1516 and one for Human Growth Hormone (HGH).

The American said he had “messed up” and that it was ”time to do right”.

Joshua himself avoided twisting the knife, saying ”I don’t want to talk too much about the situation with Jarrell Miller, because it is not in my character to knock a man when he is down.”

Joshua puts his titles on the line on June 1

On Ruiz the unified champion was far more bullish. “Ruiz is a different kind of challenge but one I embrace,” he said.

“We have worked in the boxing gym week on week and whomever is put in front of me at Madison Square Garden on June 1 will be dispatched in style. The rent will be collected.”

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