WBA/IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has insisted that he hasn’t underestimated Andy Ruiz Jr. “one bit” ahead of their unified world title clash at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday June 1, shown live on DAZN in the US and Sky Sports Box Office in the UK.
Joshua heads into his highly-anticipated US debut as a heavy favorite with many bookies but he says he’s all too aware of the threats posed by Ruiz. “It’s not about what you look like, it’s a craft, a skill, and what’s in your heart and your head matters in the end,” said Joshua. “Andy has shown he has all that, he can fight and box, that’s what matters. I think Andy is a great challenger and will bring it on June 1.
“All I’ve heard is ‘AJ will smash him in a round’. From the outside they think that anyone can box, so how is the guy that doesn’t look like a fighter able to box? I always say that if you put ten bodybuilders in the ring, not one of them could fight for a regional title in boxing.
“Take me out of my body but keep the same attributes and height, same jab, same chin, same heart and same mind, but I looked different – I’d still get to the same position I am in because it’s what is within you that makes a champion, your genetics, and his genetics are the same – and he took the fight!
“He’s keen, he’s game and you cannot knock him. He can fight and he’s got hands. He gave a world champion in Joseph Parker lots of problems, and when you look at the fight the Parker gave Whyte when people are saying Whyte can beat Wilder, Fury and me, Andy is championship level for sure, and I have not underestimated him one bit.”