Andy Ruiz Jr, the heavyweight whom Joseph Parker beat by decision to claim the vacant WBO world title, believes a fight between the Kiwi and Anthony Joshua could go either way.

However, the tough Mexican-American, who suffered his first professional defeat when losing to Parker in Auckland late last year, added Parker never hurt him in their clash.

In fact, Ruiz had the better of the early stages of the fight with his hand speed and workrate, but didn't do enough in the second half and he certainly didn't hurt Parker either at any stage.

Parker is promising to knock out Englishman Joshua should they meet next year – negotiations are continuing – but the 25-year-old has failed to stop his last three opponents, beating Ruiz, Razvan Cojanu and Hughie Fury on points, and Ruiz said he thought Joshua was stronger.


"I think it'll be a good match up. It could go either way," Ruiz told Boxing News.

"I think Joshua's a little too strong. Joseph didn't hurt me at all, not even one time. Joseph Parker's going to have to do something different to what he normally does to win this fight.

"But Joshua is pretty good. He stays tall too much. He never had a pressure fighter on him all the time. It would be a good match up."

Ruiz's trainer, the respected and experienced Abel Sanchez, agreed a fight between Parker and Joshua would be good one, and told BWTM Sports Channel he believed Joshua could get the decision.

"That's a very good fight," Sanchez said. "I think Joshua wins that fight, though. I think that Joshua is a little more skilled than Parker. Andy pressed him, Andy made him back up a little bit and was able to hit him with good shots.

"We had the speed in that fight but we didn't get the decision. I think in that fight Joshua wins the decision."

Negotiations between Parker's promoter David Higgins and Joshua's Eddie Hearn have stalled because Higgins won't budge from his 35 per cent bottom line, and although close to making a deal, it seems Joshua is reluctant to concede anything.

That has led to Parker's team questioning Joshua's motivations and whether he truly wants to unify the heavyweight division, and the Englishman has remained silent despite Parker's recent provocation, a tweet last night which read "65% & rematch not enough to unify? Believe your own hype? Bubble's gonna burst bro."

Hearn has stated he wants Joshua to fight both Parker and Deontay Wilder, the WBC champion next year, but American Wilder has already stated he wants 50 per cent of the profits and given Joshua's recent attitude that fight must be in doubt too.

Sanchez agreed with most observers regarding Wilder, a flawed and wild puncher with a devastating right hand.

"If he hits you with that right hand you're going to sleep for a long time," Sanchez said.