The heavyweight division takes centre stage in the boxing world this weekend as Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua will battle it out once again in a heavyweight title fight on Sunday morning.
We have a full preview and betting tips for the big fight below.
Here we are again, six months on and six thousand miles east, Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua will face off once again in another mouth-watering heavyweight clash, this time from Saudi Arabia. It’s an all or nothing fight for Joshua, who took the boxing world by storm with a 22-0 start to his career, only to have it fall apart after losing his heavyweight titles to Ruiz back in June.
Last time around, the fighters only had a few weeks to prepare for each other, as Joshua’s original scheduled opponent, Jarrell Miller, was withdrawn from the fight due to doping.
After the loss, Joshua’s team predictably activated the rematch clause immediately, and after some debate over the date and location of the rematch, it was settled for the 7th of December in Saudi Arabia.
Joshua will enter the fight as favourite once again, but not by nearly as much as he was in the original bout. The loss to Ruiz six months ago really seemed to highlight some flaws that Joshua has in his boxing style, flaws that keen experts have been pointing out throughout his career.
Looking back over Joshua’s career, he has been lucky at times, especially in his bout with former heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, where he was outboxed for the majority of the night before scoring a controversial TKO in the 11th round. Joshua also looked shaky at times throughout his fights with Carlos Takem and Alexander Povetkin and managed to fight back and score TKO’s in both bouts.
There’s no doubt that Joshua will be more invested in this fight than he was back in June. It’s make or break for his career. If he loses to Ruiz again, the prospect of mega fights against Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder lose a lot of hype.
As we mentioned above, both fighters will have the ability of a full training camp in the lead up to this bout unlike the June fight. While many think that will be an advantage for Joshua, I actually think it helps Ruiz a lot more.
When Ruiz accepted the fight earlier this year, he was just a few weeks removed from a win over German Alexander Dimitrenko. By all reports he was still in celebration mode, eating and drinking whatever he wanted when the chance opened up for him to challenge for the world title.
Ruiz will no doubt come into this fight in better shape than he was back in June, which is daunting for Joshua considering the Mexican seemed to have better stamina through the seven rounds of their original fight.
Call me crazy but I like the value of Ruiz here again in the rematch. Joshua has real issues with his stamina in the late rounds and get extremely shaky if he gets clipped. The heat in Saudi Arabia will likely play a massive factor, and I expect it to play in Ruiz’ favour.
It wasn’t as though Ruiz landed a single punch and got lucky in the first fight either, which is usually the case when big upsets happen in the heavyweight division. The Mexican outboxed Joshua for all seven rounds before landing the TKO win.
The problem with Joshua is that he can’t change his style. He knows one way and that is to be a brute force, powerfully walking down opponents and earn early round KO’s. It’s unlikely that Ruiz will be sucked into that early in the fight.
The longer the fight goes, the smaller Joshua’s chances of winning get.
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