Hearn likes Ruiz for Joshua fight on June 1

Screen Shot 2019 04 27 at 11.25.52 AM 1 2 .0 - Hearn likes Ruiz for Joshua fight on June 1

Eddie Hearn seems to want Andy Ruiz Jr for June 1, which may be what’s causing a continued delay in an announcement.

There was some hope that we’d get news on Friday about Anthony Joshua’s June 1 opponent, but Friday came and went and we got no updates.

Fair enough and all, as promoter Eddie Hearn was in California for the big DAZN card, which saw Juan Francisco Estrada beat Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in the main event and Daniel Roman war it out with TJ Doheny.

But the Joshua situation is still high priority for Hearn, and it appears we are down to two names: Andy Ruiz Jr or Michael Hunter. Hunter is currently due up on May 25 in Maryland on the Usyk-Takam card, and he’s a Matchroom fighter, that being scheduled as his debut with the company.

But Hearn does seem to prefer Ruiz, which may be the delay. Ruiz is a PBC fighter, which doesn’t make him unavailable, but does mean that the negotiations would certainly take a little longer, be a bit more complicated.

“I like Andy Ruiz,” Hearn said last night after the fights. “I know he would be one of the guys who would give me a million percent against Joshua. He’d let his hands go, he’d come to fight, and you saw in here tonight the atmosphere for the Mexicans, and he could be the first Mexican world heavyweight champion if he gets the pick. He’s game, he’s ready — it’s not done, definitely not done, but he’s definitely right up there.”

The promoter sees Ruiz (32-1, 21 KO) as a more than fitting replacement for Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller, who failed a trio of VADA drug tests for GW1516, EPO, and HGH and lost what was by far the biggest opportunity and payday of his career, possibly bigger than anything he’ll ever wind up getting going forward.

Hearn believes Ruiz would come in legitimately trying to win, not just to cash a big paycheck.

“I want someone to come and try to knock Anthony Joshua out,” Hearn said. “I don’t want a guy who turns up not really believing they can win, gets knocked out in two rounds without throwing punches. I want a guy that comes with confidence and heart and belief. There’s about two or three guys that will do that and Andy’s one of them.”

Ruiz said a couple of days ago on Inside PBC Boxing that he is in negotiations for the fight.

“They’re talking to my team and all that,” he told host Kate Abdo. “I’m a little excited. I don’t wanna get ahead of myself, but I’m excited.”

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