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Anthony Joshua: The longer Wilder and Fury wait, the tougher it will be for them

Anthony Joshua talks Andy Ruiz Jr and potential, eventual fights with Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury.

Anthony Joshua - Media Day Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

WBA/IBF/WBO heavyweight titleholder Anthony Joshua was a guest on 5 Live Boxing with Costello & Bunce, and discussed his upcoming June 1 fight with late substitute opponent Andy Ruiz Jr, plus the dangers for Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury if they wait on fighting him.

Joshua (22-0, 21 KO) was originally going to face Jarrell Miller on June 1 in Joshua’s U.S. debut at Madison Square Garden, live on DAZN, but Miller failed three (3) VADA drug tests and Ruiz (32-1, 21 KO) has stepped in on short notice.

While the 29-year-old Ruiz has been laughed off by many due to his plump physique, Joshua doesn’t think he’s any less a challenge than Miller, just a different sort of one.

“They’re very different. I feel like Ruiz is more selective with his punches, he punches with a bit more intent. I feel like Miller would walk you down with intent to tire you out, make you do things you’re not naturally good at, throw punches off-balance trying to move out of the way and all that,” Joshua said.

“Ruiz will be a bit more of a technical boxing match, and it’s really the first person who lands. If I can’t take his punch power or he can’t take mine, it’s the first person who lands, because we punch with intent. If we can take each others power, it will be the first one to tire. It’s about selecting your punches and breaking your opponent down, where Miller was just going to be a slugfest, because I wanted to punish him for the things he said, and he wanted to punish me because that’s just his mindset.”

Joshua, 29, knows that the biggest fights, the ones everyone wants to see, are with WBC titleholder Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury, but those aren’t happening for now due to, at the very least, various promotional divides. But Joshua thinks that the longer they wait to actually fight him, the worse it will be for either man.

“The longer Wilder and Fury leave it, I think the tougher the fight will become for them,” he said, after noting various improvements he’s made in training since beating Wladimir Klitschko in 2017.

“I’m not the fighter of two years ago. They’ve been doing it now 10, 11 years, I’ve been doing it five or six years. Give me another year or two and I think I’ll develop that little bit more, because I only want to improve and test myself.”

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