Despite there still being up to five names in the running, it is widely expected that Mexican heavyweight Andy Ruiz Jr (32-1) will be Anthony Joshua's (22-0) next opponent, likely to be announced on Tuesday, April 30, according to Barry Hearn.
Matchroom Boxing have been looking for another opponent ever since disgraced Jarrell Miller failed three seperate drug tests.
Joshua’s team have opted to face Ruiz Jnr, whose only defeat in 33 bouts was a narrow points loss to former WBO world champion and Joshua victim Joseph Parker in 2016 in New Zealand.
The Californian has won three fights since that solitary loss, with the latest being an impressive five-round destruction of former European champion Alexander Dimitrenko (41-5) just weeks ago in April.
Michael Hunter Jr; Luis Ortiz; Manuel Charr; and Trevor Bryan were amongst the other top contenders in the runnings to face AJ, as was Adam Kownacki and Agit Kabayel.
However, it seems that Ruiz Jr has landed the lottery ticket instead. His name was always one of the first on promoter Eddie Hearn's list when asked the question repeatedly recently. He also mentioned that he was a fan of Ruiz Jr and persistently said he liked him.
Promoter Eddie Hearn said Ruiz will "do anything" to become world champion.
"He will entertain you, give it his all. Even if it means getting sensationally knocked out, he will rather do that than not do it," Hearn told Fighthype.com.
"I couldn't afford a guy who I thought may not be good enough or game enough to entertain the fans. I had to pick a guy in my heart who I thought will do everything to become world heavyweight champion at the Garden."
Ruiz has agreed to terms, leaving only small details to be finalised, with Hearn stating the fight was "close".
An official announcement is expected to be made on April 30.
Andy Ruiz Jr
Record: 32-1, 21 KOs
From: California, America
Height: 6ft 2"
Titles: WBO Inter-Continental heavyweight title; NABF heavyweight title;
Career Highlights: He is a world title contender already, which is when he took WBO world heavyweight champion Joseph Parker to a mixed decision in 2016, but was on the wrong end of the 115-113; 115-113; 114-114 scores. He started brightly as the aggressor, despite being in the away corner all the way over in Auckland, New Zealand, but took his foot of the gas during the mid-rounds, and taking control again in the championship rounds was too late to nick the vacant belt that Tyson Fury had just vacated and Ruiz failed to become the first boxer of Mexican descent to win a heavyweight world title. The Compubox stats that showed the home fighter Parker outlanded the visitor by 119-107 punches shows just how close the Destroyer came.
Rankings: WBA #11; IBF #15