Joshua vs Ruiz Jr: Anthony Joshua must cope with turbulent build-up ahead of world title fight

Joshua defends world titles against Andy Ruiz Jr in New York on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Box Office

Anthony Joshua

Anthony Joshua must cope with a change of opponent, Deontay Wilder speculation, and the pressure to impress in New York. A Panel of experts have given their opinions on whether AJ will be unsettled ahead of his US debut.

Joshua defends his WBA 'Super', IBF and WBO heavyweight titles against Andy Ruiz Jr at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

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Britain's unified champion has not experienced an ideal build-up, with Ruiz Jr stepping in after original opponent Jarrell Miller failed a drug test, while WBC champion Wilder has appeared to delay an undisputed world title fight after weeks of debate. Joshua must now focus on producing another explosive win in front of an American audience.

A rival and a former world heavyweight champion join our panel of experts as they discuss these testing times for Joshua...

Johnny Nelson

My only worry is he tries to give the fans a show, give them two or three rounds, and then get rid of Ruiz Jr. I hope he doesn't do that.
Johnny Nelson

We've seen it in the past, we've seen it happen so many times before. The difference between AJ and the rest of them is that he is a total professional in regards to his build-up to a fight.

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My only worry is he tries to give the fans a show, give them two or three rounds, and then get rid of Ruiz Jr. I hope he doesn't do that. I thought he did that with Carlos Takam. When he stepped on the gas and Takam didn't go, it ended up being a bit more of a struggle than it should have been.

Get the job done, make a statement to say 'look, I'm a class above this'. Let us worry, let him do the job.

Dillian Whyte

Wilder blew away Breazeale in a round, so Joshua will want to get rid of Ruiz Jr in good style.
Dillian Whyte

He is professional and experienced. He knows what is at stake. He won't take his eye off the ball. Wilder blew away Dominic Breazeale in a round, so Joshua will want to get rid of Ruiz Jr in good style.

He must be 100 per cent focused. Ruiz Jr is good, but hasn't got the power. To beat Joshua you need to be a good boxer, have a really good chin, and be a massive puncher. Ruiz Jr has good combinations but his feet are slow and he has no defence.

He is good for Joshua - short enough, lets his hands go enough, leaves himself open just enough. Joshua will pick him apart and stop him inside six rounds.

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Eddie Hearn reacts after Wilder opts for Luis Ortiz rematch instead of Joshua

Hasim Rahman

From what I've seen, he is a consummate professional. He will not take Ruiz Jr lightly, and he will come through in dramatic fashion.

If he goes the distance with Ruiz Jr, it will make things harder at the negotiating table. Deontay has done his part.
Hasim Rahman

Anthony knows what is at stake, and he doesn't want to mess up potentially the biggest undisputed fight ever. He doesn't want to jeopardise that.

With the performance that Deontay Wilder [put in against Dominic Breazeale], Joshua has to at least match that. It's a must. He has to. If he goes the distance with Ruiz Jr, it will make things harder at the negotiating table. Deontay has done his part.

Dave Coldwell

That's always a risk when you are talking about fights down the line. The thing is, I see AJ as one of the most professional and well-rounded fighters that's out there. He's always working to improve himself, regardless of the opponent.

Yeah, it can be a distraction, but I see him as a very, very good professional and regardless, I think he's prepared right.
David Coldwell

There's a lot of fighters that can subconsciously just take the new opponent a little bit lightly, or it's an opponent that doesn't seem to possess much of a threat. They can just take their eye off the ball a little bit. Yeah, it can be a distraction, but I see him as a very, very good professional and regardless, I think he's prepared right.

Anthony Joshua trains during a media Workout at the English Institute of Sport on March 21, 2018 in Sheffield, England. 1:06
Paulie Malignaggi says AJ can increase demand for Wilder fight with dominant win

Watch Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz Jr on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Box Office, from 10pm. Book it via your Sky remote or book it online here. Even if you aren't a Sky TV subscriber you can book and watch it here.

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