The Brit defends his status as undisputed heavyweight champion of the world against Ruiz Jr, his first fight since September 2018. The fight is on Saturday, June 1, but, due to time differences, UK viewers may be watching in the early hours of Sunday, June 2 at Madison Square Garden, New York City.
The Manhattan venue is steeped in boxing history having hosted fights involving Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and Mike Tyson.
— Ronnie Laybold (@CoyotesGlendale) June 2, 2019
The UK is five hours ahead of New York which is Eastern Time in the US, so assuming the fight starts at around 11pm local time that means a 4am start on this side of the Atlantic. Between 4am and 5am is probably a reasonable estimate. So that means an early start or a late finish, depending on your preference and what time you start work on Monday. Tickets are on sale now via the Madison Square Garden website and other third-party ticket exchanges, but even a seat up in the gods is likely to set you back a few hundred dollars.
Joshua was due to fight unbeaten American Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller, but the fight fell through after Miller failed three drugs tests. It is the chance of a lifetime for stand-in Ruiz and a major step up in class. That said, he did force Alexander Dimitrenko to throw the towel in the fifth round when they met in April.
Have they ever met before?
No, this is their first fight.
What are their records?
Anthony Joshua is unbeaten as a pro in 22 fights, winning 21 by KO.
Andy Ruiz has lost just one of 32 fights, forcing 21 knockouts.
What are they saying?
Ruiz on facing Joshua:
“I think my speed, the aggressiveness, the head movement is going to give him a lot of trouble.
“I’ve been sparring with a lot of the guys he’s been sparring and they tell me the same thing too.
It gives me motivation and gets me back in the gym to train harder.
“I don’t want to say [who said that] because then they’re going to go back over there and they’re not going to have work.”
Joshua on Ruiz’s style:
“Ruiz doesn’t weigh as much, he is a lot quicker than Miller and I think he uses punch variety and punch selection a lot better than Miller does.
“His punch output is a lot lower but he is more accurate with his punches. I have to be better with my defence, a lot tighter and be smarter against someone like Ruiz.