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Anthony Joshua set for trilogy with Andy Ruiz, the first boxer to beat him



Following the cancellation of the proposed fight with Dillian Whyte over dope issues, Anthony Joshua  could face former rival Andy Ruiz Jr who was the first boxer to knock him down in his professional career.

The original bout collapsed as the Whyte failed a drug test for the third time in his career, denying him the chance to avenge his 2015 loss and forcing Joshua to find an emergency stand-in.

As Joshua’s camp scramble to fix a replacement a surprise contender emerged in the form of Andy Ruiz Jr.

The American pulled off one of boxing’s biggest ever upsets when he beat Joshua at Madison Square Garden in 2019, but lost on points in a rematch to the Joshua just six months later.

Now Ruiz is eyeing up a trilogy fight with AJ after Saturday’s bout was cancelled following an ‘adverse finding’ in one of Whyte’s drugs tests.


The Destroyer said on Instagram: ‘Eddie Hearn, Joshua, I think I’ve found a new replacement – again!

‘Let’s run it back. Let’s get the trilogy. Let’s get it.’

It will be recalled that Ruiz Jr, then also a last minute replacement, stopped Joshua in the seventh round to become world heavyweight champion but lost his belts after Joshua’s points win in Saudi Arabia.

He has since fought veterans Luis Ortiz and Chris Arreola but is eyeing a return to the big leagues.

Currently Gerald Washington is the frontrunner to land the Joshua fight, as reported by  Sun Sport, but Ruiz will hope his history with the Joshua may tip the scales in his favour.


Whyte has vowed to prove his innocence and released a statement about his failed test that said: ‘I am shocked and devastated to learn of a report by VADA of adverse findings relating to me.

‘I only learned of it this morning and am still reacting to it.

‘I have also just seen the fight is being cancelled without having any chance to demonstrate my innocence before the decision was taken.

‘I can confirm without a shadow of a doubt that I have not taken the reported substance, in this camp or at any point in my life.

‘I am completely innocent and ask to be given the time to go through the process of proving this without anybody jumping to conclusions or a trial by media.’


This is the third time he has failed a drug test in his career as the Body Snatcher was banned for two years after testing positive for a prohibited stimulant in 2012.

He also tested positive for metabolites of the anabolic steroid Dianabol in 2019 but was exonerated of any wrongdoing by UKAD due to the ‘extremely low’ levels of the drug found in his system.


Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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