With Anthony Joshua still in search of an opponent for his U.S. debut on June 1 in New York following Jarrell Miller’s three failed drug tests, PBC’s Andy Ruiz Jr is campaigning hard to land the fight.
Ruiz (32-1, 21 KO) made his PBC debut last Saturday with a one-sided win over Alexander Dimitrenko, and had said before the fight that he wanted Joshua if he got through that bout without any problems.
He and Michael Hunter have emerged as the front runners for the bout in the rumor mill.
“We’re in negotiations right now,” Ruiz said on Inside PBC Boxing. “Hopefully they pick me. They’re looking for an opponent, I’m here. I just got done fighting on April 20 so I’m fresh, I’m ready, I’m ready to rock n’ roll.”
He confirmed that there have been legitimate discussions.
“I have had a phone call. They’re talking to my team and all that. I’m a little excited. I don’t wanna get ahead of myself, but I’m excited.”
Asked if he feels it’s enough time to be ready to face someone like Joshua (22-0, 21 KO), he insists he’ll be ready.
“I want it right now. I just got done fighting. I think with a month more preparing myself, I’ll be more sharp, more fit. I’ll be ready for that fight.”
One of the things that has dogged Ruiz throughout his career has been his weight. There was a lot of talk of him being in better shape before his fight with Dimitrenko, and then he weighed in at 262, which was actually his heaviest weight on the scales since 2014.
But Ruiz says he’s continuing to work, and has a goal.
“My goal is to be at 245, gain some muscle, improve the speed and movement,” he said. “If I’m at 245, I don’t think there’s anybody out there that can beat me and can match that speed. The last time I was at (that weight) I think was the last time I fought at the StubHub a few years ago. From the long layoff that I had, now that I’m more active now that I signed with PBC, that’s the goal, to be at 245.”
For what it’s worth, the last time Ruiz fought at StubHub — now Dignity Health Sports Park — before this past Saturday, he actually weighed in at 260. But he might be talking about his 2013 fight with Matthew Greer, back when it was called Home Depot Center, where he weighed in at 246.