One-time world title holder Andy Ruiz Jr has given his prediction on what would happen should his former opponent Anthony Johsua take on China’s Zhilei Zhang.
Ruiz and Joshua fought twice, the first time back in June 2019 when the Mexican was a late stand-in opponent for Jarell Miller who had failed a drug test in the lead up to the fight in New York. Ruiz knocked Joshua down four times on his way to a 7th-round stoppage win to lift the IBF, WBO and WBA titles.
The rematch came later that year when Joshua boxed a much more disciplined fight, kept at range and won a lopsided 12-round points decision.
Since then Ruiz has fought only twice, taking two unanimous points wins over Chris Arreola and Luis Ortiz, and has been chasing a fight with Deontay Wilder.
In that time, ‘Big Bang’ Zhang has very much got himself into the world heavyweight picture with two impressive wins over Brit Joe Joyce this year.
The first time, his solid left hand damaged Joyce’s eye so badly that the fight had to be stopped, and the second time he knocked ‘The Juggernaut’ out clean in the third round.
Since then he has continued to call out Tyson Fury but also retained his mandatory WBO status so could well fight the winner of Oleksandr Usyk versus Fury next.
Speaking to ESNews, Ruiz was asked what would happen between Zhang and his two-time opponent, ‘AJ.’
“I think Zhang can beat Joshua for sure.”
Both teams say they are open to the fight, but it doesn’t seem to be high up the list of Joshua’s team. Instead, he continues to pursue Deontay Wilder. It’s a fight Ruiz wants too.