The build up to Anthony Joshua’s American debut has been surprisingly low key, mainly because he isn’t fighting Deontay Wilder.

Andy Ruiz Jr isn’t the kind of high-profile opponent that fans were expecting, but his meeting with the unified heavyweight world champion should be well worth staying up for on Saturday night.

Ruiz is standing in for Jarrell Miller, who tested positive for three banned substances in April, but the Mexican-American should prove a tougher test for Joshua.

His portly physique makes him easy to write off, but he’s an excellent technical boxer and came really close to winning a world title against Joseph Parker in December 2016.

That narrow majority decision in his opponent’s backyard remains Ruiz’s only defeat in 33 fights, so he deserves his shot at Joshua on Saturday night.

Like Parker, Ruiz is a shifty fighter with good footwork, and that’s a style Joshua struggled with when he took on the Kiwi in March 2018.

Shorter fighters have given Joshua problems in his last few fights. Parker and Carlos Takam both took the champion past the ninth round, while Alexander Povetkin was ahead on the cards when he faced Joshua in September before he lost by TKO in the seventh.

It’d be no surprise if Ruiz makes this a frustrating night for the 29-year-old early on.

Ultimately, though, it’s hard to see past Joshua.

Although he hasn’t looked quite as unstoppable in his last few bouts, he’s still a destructive force and has only gone the distance once in 22 career fights.

His size and power will eventually wear on Ruiz and Joshua has improved his body work over the past year or so, which should slow down the Mexican-American.

A late stoppage with for the former Olympic champion looks very likely, so it’s worth backing him to win in rounds 7-9 at and 10-12 at .

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