On Saturday June 1, Anthony Joshua will defend his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts against Andy Ruiz Jr. at Madison Square Garden in New York City
Ruiz has become AJ’s next opponent after Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller had to withdraw from the bout in April 2019 following his being refused a boxing licence after failing multiple drug tests, leading to a six-month ban from the sport.
Joshua is currently unbeaten as a professional in 22 fights, and has won 21 inside the distance. Ruiz on the other hand has lost just one of his 32 fights - and that one defeat by a very disputed decision versus Joseph Parker - ahead of challenging for Joshua’s heavyweight titles.
It is AJ’s first fight since September 2018 when he beat Alexander Povetkin, and marks his debut in the United States of America, arriving with the reputation as the biggest name in boxing today.
It’s not hard to see why the Watford-born pugilist has reached this ascendancy.
Joshua and his camp - led by promoter Eddie Hearn - have raked in an accumulative £72,000,000 from his last five fights alone, dating back to his fight against Eric Molina at the tail-end of 2016.
Joshua has twice, in 2017 and 2018, set the UK record for biggest post-war attendance for a boxing match, with his bouts against Wladimir Klitschko and Carlos Takam, at Wembley Stadium and the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, respectively, surpassing the 90,000 mark.
In comparison, George Foreman and Muhammed Ali’s Rumble in the Jungle in 1974 reportedly hit around 60k.
Pay-per-view purchases for Joshua’s bouts are also strong with a total of 6,871,000 across his last eight fights, with only one of his last four (Takam) failing to reach the 1million mark.
The 29-year-old ranks fourth on the recently-announced 2019 Sunday Times Young Sports Stars Rich List, with a total net worth reported to be £49m, up £14million from 2018. Bear in mind Joshua will have fought just three times since Autumn 2017 upon the outcome of his Ruiz battle.
Joshua has, so far, fought 84 career rounds across his unblemished 22 fight professional career, averaging around 3.8 rounds per fight.
As one of the most marketable sports people today, Joshua is the face (and body) of such renowned brands as Under Armour, Jaguar, and Audemars Piguet.
Expect his profile to continue to expand should success in America be forthcoming.
Additional Research: Rob Ford