Eddie Hearn, promoter for IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, believes his boxer is in for a very tough fight on June 1.
Once-beaten Andy Ruiz will come in on late notice to challenge Joshua at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Ruiz replaces Jarrell Miller, who was set to fight Johsua but got pulled after failing three separate pre-drug tests. He came up positive for banned substances HGH, EPO and GW1516.
Ruiz has a record of 32 wins, 21 knockouts and one loss. His only defeat came at the hands of Joseph Parker in a close twelve round decision in December 2016. Parker was defeated by Joshua by unanimous decision in their four belt unification in March 2018.
Joshua has won all 22 of his professional fights, which included 21 knockouts.
According to Hearn, fighters like Canelo Alvarez and Jessie Vargas have been raving about the ability of Ruiz.
"When you talk to, I think we had Jessie Vargas speaking about it, these people are not mugs on boxing, they’re not some bloke down the pub who has watched three fights. These are people who study and know boxing inside out. They know how good Andy Ruiz is," Hearn told IFL TV.
“If Andy Ruiz was built like AJ, he’d be as big as Canelo. He’d be a Mexican heavyweight [champion]. Unfortunately the guy looks more like me in my trunks but the guy can fight like f***. I’ve had loads of messages from people in boxing saying, ‘You know this is a f***ing really tough fight don’t you?’
“When you talk to Jessie and they did it with Oscar [De La Hoya] and Canelo. Canelo grew up with this guy in the amateur scene and he’s like, ‘Wow, this is a great fight.’ I’m like, ‘Canelo, can we do an interview with you saying that?’ Everyone in boxing is saying it’s a tougher fight as Miller, definitely as tough. It doesn’t have the animosity and he doesn’t look as good as Miller but he’s a character, I like Ruiz a lot, he’s got bundles of heart. He’d become a legend overnight and he wants it bad.”