Anthony Joshua has laid down the law for opponent Andy Ruiz Jr ahead of their title bout in June, vowing to ‘batter’ him if he continues to call him a ‘big robot’. Ruiz Jr was recently confirmed as AJ’s challenger for the WBA, IBF and WBO belts and he hasn’t wasted any time in trying to unsettle the unified heavyweight champion.

AJ will be making his United States debut as the two square off at Madison Square Garden on 1st June, and the Olympic Gold medallist will be looking to make it 23-0 when he faces Ruiz Jr. The California-based American-Mexican almost caused an upset against Joseph Parker in 2016, and will be hoping to go one better in New York next month.

AJ’s promise

Joshua is expected to travel across the pond in the next week and start his preparations for the bout, and it appears he’ll have to be at his very best to stop Ruiz Jr; judging by the American-Mexican’s comments just hours after the fight was announced.

To say AJ was surprised is an understatement, and he was quick to warn the American-Mexican that he won’t tolerate any more trash talk – especially when the face off in New York.

“Wow. He’s started his trash talk already,” Joshua told The Metro.

“You don’t want to talk because this robot will whoop him. I thought he was a cool guy and I was going to go in there and beat him up slowly.

“But if he talks reckless, I will batter him. You can’t push these buttons, I’ll punish you.”

Ruiz Jr lights the fuse

As things stand, Ruiz Jr is a tempting 12/1 to beat Joshua and become the new heavyweight champion, and the 29-year-old is more than confident in his own ability to inflict Joshua’s first professional defeat.

Ruiz Jr said: ‘I think the fight is going toe-to-toe, two guys smashing each other’s faces.

“I’m going in there to throw combinations like I’ve never done before, to improve my speed.

“I think being so tall he fights like a big robot. I think with my style, my speed, my movement, I don’t think he’s fought anybody like me.

“It’s going to be a whole different ball game. I’m going to bring the pressure, the speed, and the combinations to him.”

Prediction

If the initial betting markets are anything to go by, it’ll be a walk in the park for Joshua (1/33) but the Brit will know he needs to be at his absolute best to preserve his unbeaten record. Joshua – at 29 years old – is coming into his prime and he’ll want to put in an assured performance ahead of a possible showdown with Tyson Fury.

Ruiz Jr is still fresh from his fifth round TKO win against Alexander Dimitrenko in late April, and he’ll be aiming to carry that momentum on come fight night. Ruiz Jr certainly has the power and physique to mix it with Joshua but ultimately, his speed and stamina are likely to be his Achilles heel.

It promises to be an intriguing battle between two of boxing’s hardest hitters but at the end of the day, AJ should have enough about him to become the undisputed champion. We’re going for AJ to win in the tenth round at 14/1.

Fancy something different? Check out the Anthony Joshua v Andy Ruiz Jr Betting Odds right now for all the available markets.

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