Anthony Joshua insists he is not underestimating Mexican opponent Andy Ruiz Jr. as he prepares to defend his WBA Super, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight belts on US soil for the first time at Madison Square Garden on Sunday (AEST).

British star Joshua is an overwhelming favourite to extend his unbeaten record against Ruiz, a late replacement for Jarrell Miller, who withdrew from the bout after failing three drug tests in April.

But Joshua insists he is paying no attention to the bookmakers as he prepares for a fight that he describes as an upset waiting to happen.

Watch Anthony Joshua v Andy Ruiz Jr. from 9am, June 2 (AEST) on Main Event. ORDER NOW >

“This is a banana skin fight for me in every aspect,” Joshua said. “I’ve got to take Andy deadly seriously, I don’t overlook him at all.

“I’ve got to respect him and his whole team. And I really respect the fact that he put his name on the dotted line to take this challenge.

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“No matter what the odds or the bookmakers are saying, Andy’s going to come in here and give me a real good fight and cause problems. It’s down to me to outsmart and outmuscle him.”

Joshua, who has delivered 21 knockouts in his 22 victories, will, however, be determined to deliver an explosive performance as he aims to build a broader following in the United States on his American debut.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Anthony Joshua v Andy Ruiz Jr.

HOW TO WATCH

Watch Anthony Joshua v Andy Ruiz Jr. from 9am, June 2 (AEST) on Main Event. ORDER NOW >

WHERE AND WHEN

Anthony Joshua will put his WBA Super, IBF, WBO, and IBO belts on the line against Andy Ruiz Jr. at Madison Square Garden in New York, on Sunday, June 2 (AEST).

Joshua v Ruiz Jr. is expected to start at approximately 12.30pm (AEST).

TALE OF THE TAPE

Anthony Joshua

Age: 29

Nationality: United Kingdom

Wins: 22 (21 KOs)

Losses: 0

Draws: 0

Height: 198cm

Reach: 208cm

Andy Ruiz Jr.

Age: 29

Nationality: USA/Mexican

Wins: 32 (21 KOs)

Losses: 1

Draws: 0

Height: 188cm

Reach: 188cm

WHO IS ANDY RUIZ JR.?

Andy Ruiz was barely on anyone’s radar when he was summoned as a replacement to fight champion Anthony Joshua. On Sunday, massive underdog Ruiz promises he could be the next Buster Douglas.

“I’ve been an underdog all my life,” Ruiz said in the final news conference before the fight.

He will take a 32-1 mark with 21 knockouts into the ring, and that’s nothing to scoff at.

Except that his range of opponents hasn’t been stellar, and in Ruiz’s biggest bout thus far, he lost a very close decision to Joseph Parker for the WBO crown that Joshua now owns.

He’s also stepping in after fighting on April 20, when he stopped Alexander Dimitrenko. Jarrell Miller’s failed drug tests sent the trash-talking New Yorker to the sidelines.

UNDERCARD

Bout 1

Souleymane Cissokho v Wladimir Hernandez — 8 rounds

Bout 2

Chris Algieri v Tommy Coyle — 12 rounds

Bout 3

Joshua Buatsi v Marco Antonio Periban — 10 rounds

Bout 4

Josh Kelly v Ray Robinson — 10 rounds

Bout 5

Katie Taylor v Delfine Persoon — 10 rounds (x 2 mins)

Bout 6 (co-feature)

Callum Smith v Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam — 12 rounds (super middleweight) — WBA Super, WBC Diamond

Float fights

Austin Williams v Quadeer Jenkins — 4 rounds

Diego Pacheco v Jared Chauvin — 4 rounds



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