Anthony Joshua's trainer has high praise for Andy Ruiz Jr. after Joshua's original opponent failed multiple drug tests.
Robert McCracken, the trainer for the unified WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion, spoke about Ruiz during the final press conference for the June 1 Matchroom Boxing card. McCracken called Ruiz the best available contender in the aftermath of Miller's positive drug test results that resulted in him losing the fight against Joshua.
In the days following Miller's test results, a number of heavyweights stated their interest in facing Joshua for the unified titles, such as Manuel Charr, Trevor Bryan, Michael Hunter and Ruiz among others. Ultimately, it was Ruiz, a former WBO heavyweight title challenger, who was picked to headline the card at Madison Square Garden that will be streamed on DAZN.
"I'll keep it short and sweet. Ruiz Jr. was the best available contender when Jarrell Miller failed his drugs tests. Ruiz for me was the toughest challenge at that stage, we needed somebody that was going to motivate Anthony. There was a couple of names floated around that I don't think would have motivated him and the camp would have become hard. AJ recognizes him as a quality fighter. Technically he is sounds. He has a good coach. He was very close in the Parker fight. He is a world level fighter and a serious contender and that's what Anthony Joshua is about. He wants to fight the best out there. Right now, Andy Ruiz is the best out there for this date, that's the challenge," McCracken said.
McCracken would go on to add that Joshua's training camp has went very well despite the change in opponents. Joshua spent several weeks training in the United States before traveling to New York, having a camp in Miami.
Fightful will have live coverage of Joshua vs. Ruiz as well as the entire card taking place at Madison Square Garden. The card will also feature Katie Taylor taking on Delfine Persoon for the undisputed women's lightweight world titles.