Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz Jr

Sat 1st June 2019 UTC
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Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr. was a heavyweight professional boxing match contested between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr. The event took place on June 1, 2019, at Madison Square Garden in New York City, United States with Joshua's WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles on the line. Joshua was originally scheduled to face undefeated challenger Jarrell Miller, but was then replaced by Ruiz Jr. after three failed drug tests. Ruiz Jr., 29, won the match via technical knockout in the 7th round. This was Joshua's first fight to take place in the United States.

After the win against Bogdan Dinu, Miller said that he and his team "want Joshua but he is little busy and if not AJ, then Dillian Whyte, Derek Chisora, even a David Allen or David Price fight."

Joshua has repeatedly spoken of his desire to fight the undefeated WBC champion Wilder for all four world titles, but with the American expected to fight Fury in a rematch in Las Vegas in April before the fight was cancelled, he needed alternative opponent and he insisted Dillian Whyte would then be the leading candidate. The 30-year-old Dillian Whyte called Joshua out once Chisora had recovered from his 11th round knockout, but Joshua, 29, and unusually booed by many of those present at The O2, said: “If Deontay Wilder is serious and he is going to fight Tyson Fury and doesn’t want to become undisputed champion, Dillian you will get a title shot."

On 29 December 2018, with Joshua's Wembley date still on hold, Hearn stated that Dillian Whyte was the frontrunner to challenge Joshua. Whilst still waiting for Hearn to contact him, Whyte claimed to hear rumours that Joshua would pack in Wembley date and instead fight American contender Jarrel Miller at Madison Square Garden. On 12 January 2019, Whyte revealed that he had turned down a 'severe lowball' offer from Joshua to fight him in a rematch. Whyte did not reveal the figure, however claimed it was lower than what he received against Chisora in December 2018. By 21 January, Hearn stated there could be a possibility Joshua may well fight in the United States instead. According to Hearn, it was Joshua who was making the offer for the Whyte fight. Whyte claimed Joshua did not want to fight him, as he had known since September 2018, that he would be fighting in April 2019, yet did not make any offers. On 1 February, Hearn admitted it was becoming highly unlikely that Joshua would still fight at Wembley Stadium on 13 April. On 2 February, Whyte claimed the Joshua 'was dead' and he was to look at other options, including a potential fight with Dominic Breazeale. According to Miller, Joshua initially offered Whyte $3 million, then increased the offer to $5 million, only to go down to $3.5 million.

On 8 February, terms were agreed for Joshua to defend his unified heavyweight titles against Jarrel Miller (23-0-1, 20 KOs) on 1 June at Madison Square Garden in New York City, marking Joshua's US debut. The event became the highest grossing pre-sale in the arena's boxing history. The launch presser began to heat up right from the start after Miller shoved Joshua during their first face off. It eventually settled down and both parties took to their seats. From there on, it was a back and forth verbal exchange, before Miller stormed off the stage. Joshua stayed and answered any remaining questions from the media. It was reported that Joshua would pocket £19.3 million (equivalent to $25 million) for his US debut. Another report claimed Joshua was to earn an estimated $32 million. Miller's deal with DAZN ensured he received a career-high purse of $4.875 million, which would include two more bouts on DAZN worth $3 million.

Miller's drug test
On 17 April 2019, both camps confirmed the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association had informed them that Miller had tested positive for the banned substance GW1516. The test results were from a random VADA-conducted urine test Miller submitted to on March 20. Further tests taken on March 31 proved positive for EPO, HGH and GW1516 again.

Miller was denied a boxing license by the New York State Athletic Commission and Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn said the champ is on the lookout for a new opponent.

New opponent
Many boxers, including Ivan Dychko, Manuel Charr put their names forward to fight Joshua instead. Hearn reportedly spoke to 16 heavyweights in the space of 24 hours. Luis Ortiz was the first name that Joshua wanted as a replacement. Hearn was adament that Joshua would still fight on that date as 17,000 tickets had already been sold, with 10,000 of those being from Britain.

Prior to his fight wth Alexander Dimitrenko on April 20 former world title challenger Andy Ruiz Jr. p(31-1, 20 KOs) put his name forward to replace Miller and challenge Joshua for the unified heavyweight titles on June 1, 2019. On April 22, Ruiz confirmed his team had meeting scheduled with promoter Eddie Hearn, officially putting himself in the running. Ruiz became a frontrunner after it was reported Luis Ortiz's team had rejected two offers of career high purses to fight Joshua. Terms were agreed within a week. On May 1, with one month to go before fight night, Joshua vs. Ruiz was confirmed and announced to take place at Madison Square Garden in New York City exclusively live streamed on DAZN in the United States and PPV on Sky Sports Box Office in the United Kingdom. It was reported that Ruiz would earn around $7million (£5.36m) for the bout.

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Result List

Result Description
Ruiz Jr. defeated Joshua in the 7th round by TKO

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