Joshua stakes titles against Ruiz, thinks Fury, Wilder fights

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Anthony Joshua will go into his debut fight in the US nit worried about his swollen eyes ahead of his heavyweight title defence against Andy Ruiz Jr in New York.

The IBF, WBA and WBO champion is confident that he would come out victorious and notes that he is already looking beyond this fight and says the likes ofare opponents not far from his thoughts.

“I think I can beat Ruiz,” Joshua said. “If Wilder is not available, I want Fury,” he said.

“I said I want to meet Wilder, chat with him, and the next day he announces a fight with no date or venue attached to it.

I still say there is hope, but I think the next person I want then is Fury.”

Wilder, owner of the WBC crown, apparently has decided to give Luis Ortiz a rematch. Ortiz battered Wilder for parts of their fight in early 2018 before running out of gas and getting knocked out.

Fury vs. Wilder in an all-British bout could bring a huge purse in the United Kingdom.

“The possibilities are still in there for the (other champions) to fight,” Joshua said.

Ah, but there’s this little annoyance for WBA/IBF/WBO/IBO champion Joshua: Ruiz.

“I am fighting good fighters,” Joshua said of his 22-0 mark, 21 by knockouts. He wouldn’t give Wilder that much credit.

“I’m still taking risks. I’d rather take the risk with someone who brings a massive reward. But beating Ruiz is fine.”

Joshua originally was scheduled to face Jarrell Miller, but the trash-talking New Yorker failed drug tests. It doesn’t seem that Joshua has worked up the enmity for Ruiz that he carried for Miller — their news conference announcing the fight was a mud-slinging festival.

The champion also can’t seem to keep his focus on Ruiz (32-1, 21 KOs). He vows he will put on a good show for the Garden crowd and the streaming audience on DAZN. Then, he will chase bigger headlines.

“It’s not about Wilder,” Joshua said. “It’s about what I can achieve. I’m still after a fight for the undisputed heavyweight title. We’ve been pointing there for years. Wilder’s a good name in general. It’s not about Joshua vs. Wilder. It’s about the undisputed heavyweight title. That means a lot to me.”

Any portion of the title would mean the world to Ruiz. He fought for the WBO version and lost to Joseph Parker on a very close decision. Wilder now owns that crown.

“I am blessed,” Ruiz said. “I have nothing bad to say about him. He’s a good fighter. Hopefully, I can get the knockout. If not, being busy and using my hands and getting the combinations and I win by decision.”

Considering only Parker has gone the distance with Joshua, and Ruiz tested Parker bigtime, maybe the American will provide a challenge.

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