Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 27 September 2020

Andy Ruiz: Who is Anthony Joshua's next opponent?

The American will face the heavyweight champion when the Englishman makes his US debut in New York on June 1

Andy Ruiz works in the ring during a media day workout for his April 20 fight against Alexander Dimitrenko, at Fortune Gym in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images
Andy Ruiz works in the ring during a media day workout for his April 20 fight against Alexander Dimitrenko, at Fortune Gym in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images

American heavyweight Andy Ruiz is expected to be confirmed on Tuesday as Anthony Joshua's next opponent on June 1.

Champion Joshua was on the lookout for a new opponent for his United States debut in New York following Jarrell Miller's failed drugs tests earlier this month.

Britain's Joshua will defend his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles at Madison Square Garden, a big deal in the career of any champion.

And while Joshua-Ruiz doesn't have the same appeal as Joshua against Deontay Wilder of Tyson Fury, for Ruiz, it is an unexpected shot at the world heavyweight championship. Too good to turn down.

But what most fight fans want to know is: who is Andy Ruiz?

So, who is he?

Andy Ruiz is an American heavyweight of Mexican heritage born in Imperial Valley, California.

Boxing record

Ruiz, 29, has an impressive record of 32 wins from his 33 professional fights with 21 knockouts since turning pro in 2009.

Has he fought anyone of note?

Ruiz's biggest fight to date came in December 2016 when travelled to New Zealand to challenge Joseph Parker for his WBO heavyweight belt. Ruiz lost a majority decision. Joshua defeated New Zealander Parker last year, taking his WBO crown.

When did Ruiz last fight?

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

Strengths

Packs a powerful left hook and likes to work on the inside of his opponents. Has good head movement.

Weaknesses

Where Joshua's stomach looks like it was chiseled out of granite, Ruiz's is more the "jelly belly" variety. Conditioning is clearly a problem, and returning to training camp so soon after defeating Dimitrenko will ask questions of his stamina like never before. While his head movement is good, his feet tend to stay firmly planted. Unlikely to change his game plan for Joshua, but a lack of lateral movement means he will have to back his power in exchanges with the division's most feared hitter.

Does he stand a chance against Joshua?

To put it bluntly, no. Ruiz is a respectable late replacement for Miller but is highly unlikely to cause a huge upset like James "Buster" Douglas did in 1990 by beating Mike Tyson to become undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.

Updated: April 30, 2019 11:46 AM

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