As talk of a fight gathers pace, a video has been circulated of Anthony Joshua and prospective opponent Andy Ruiz Jr. hitting a punching machine.
Joshua, when appearing ‘The Graham Norton Show’, hit the bag to 848. Ruiz scored 967 AFTER eating a SNICKERS bar on PBC’s Inside Boxing programme.
The pair are closing in on a fight at Madison Square Garden on June 1st. Ruiz has emerged as the favorite above Trevor Bryan and Michael Hunter.
All three Americans were in the frame for AJ, with Hunter the first to agree the fight. Eddie Hearn and Joshua’s trainer Robert McCracken then decided Hunter wasn’t a big enough name after Ruiz signalled his intention to make himself available.
This was despite competing on April 20 against Alexander Dimitrenko. Ruiz stopped the big Russian and declared his interest, something WBN had thought was impossible. Also given the fact that Ruiz is signed with Al Haymon.
It seems Ruiz is ready to accept the ‘low-ball offer’ Luis Ortiz described when turning down the opportunity.
Bryan, who is WBA interim title holder, contacted Hearn through promoter Don King late last week. The Undefeated contender was then placed behind Ruiz as the next in line.
Hunter is seemingly out of the race unless something drastic happens with Ruiz and Bryan.
Ruiz has a connection to Joshua having shared the ring with the same opponent in Joseph Parker.
As Parker claimed the WBO heavyweight title in his native New Zealand, Ruiz was the forgotten man of that fight, having given the Kiwi a run for his money in a close fight.
The Mexican-American will still begin a massive underdog against Joshua in New York. Hearn’s only worry about the 29 year-old is his less-than-chiseled physique.
Hearn recently joked Joshua and Ruiz would be like chalk and cheese on the scales. But this doesn’t disguise the obvious ability Ruiz has to compete.
An announcement on the fight could be made as early as Tuesday. Still four or five days later than first hoped for Joshua.