The rematch between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jnr will be taking place in Saudi Arabia early on Sunday morning. The fight is for the unified WBA (super), IBF, WBO and IBO Heavyweight world titles.
Andy Ruiz shocked the world when he beat Joshua via a 7th round TKO in June this year at Madison Square Garden in New York City and this is shaping as one of the most anticipated Heavyweight title fights in over a decade.
The Heavyweight division is thriving right now with a handful of leading contenders in the division and the pieces will further fall into place after this fight.
We’ve taken a close look at both fighters and have offered out opinion on how we think the fight will pan out with our full preview below.
Anthony Joshua v Andy Ruiz Betting
Despite losing their first contest Anthony Joshua will enter the rematch as the favourite. He is currently $1.45 at time of publish (Wednesday) and has been solid at that price throughout betting.
Andy Ruiz was a staggering $11.00 in head to head betting when the pair first met however punters will not allow him to get out to a price that anywhere resembles that this time. He is currently $2.55 in betting.
The punters do not think the fight will last the full 12 rounds and the fight to not go the distance is $1.25 with Anthony Joshua preferred to win by KO at $1.80.
Andy Ruiz to win by knock out is $3.50.
Anthony Joshua v Andy Ruiz Recent Form
Neither fighter has had a fight in between their last meeting in New York as it was only six months ago however both fighters have suffered just the one loss in their careers.
Anthony Joshua’s only defeat came at the hands of ‘The Destroyer’ Ruiz back in June by TKO whereas Andy Ruiz’s only defeat came in New Zealand against Joeseph Parker via a majority decision.
Ruiz fought Parker for the WBO Heavyweight title that was vacated by Tyson Fury back in December of 2016 with one of the judges scoring the fight a 114-114 draw.
Anthony Joshua also fought Joeseph Parker for the WBO Heavyweight title in March of 2018. Although it was the first time in Anthony Joshua’s career that he needed the judges to decide one of his fights, he easily got their support (118-110, 118-110, 119-109).
Both fighters have wins over Raphael Zumbano Love and Kevin Lawrence.
How Anthony Joshua Can Win?
Pride and redemption.
Before his shock loss in June, Anthony Joshua was undefeated in 22 professional fights. All wins bar one had come by way of knock out.
He has the runs on the boards and has not ducked the tough opponents. He has wins over Heavyweight giants such as Wladimir Klitscho, Dominic Breazeale, Dillian Whyte and Joeseph Parker.
People forget that he knocked Ruiz down with a vicious straight right in the third round and you were forgiven for thinking the fight was going to be over very early on.
Joshua went in for the kill and things did not go to plan from then on. Mike Tyson once said “Everyone has a game plan until you get punched in the face.” This applied in this instance.
Did he have a preconceived idea of who Andy Ruiz was (like many pundits) prior to the first fight? Possibly. He certainly has a new found respect for the Mexican now and this might be the key to victory and retaining his belts.
He looked like a sculpture in the first fight but he has leaned right down for this match up, as has Ruiz, which suggests to me that he will be looking to use his speed and boxing skill in this rematch rather than brutal force.
How Andy Ruiz Can Win?
He’s the only man to do it before!
He became the first Mexican Heavyweight champion when he entered the first fight as the $11.00 underdog in a real life Rocky story.
It honestly was like watching a movie. After he was knocked down early in the fight, he rose from the dead and knocked Joshua down four times before the referee waved him off.
He will need that same motivation and determination in the second fight. And some.
He set physical training back 100 years when he showed up in terrible condition for the first fight and preceded to belt the living crap out of Joshua however he returns in much better shape for this fight.
He took the first fight on short notice and had to overcome plenty of adversity. His promotion, Top Rank, had dropped him after his loss to Joseph Parker and he sure showed them.
This time however, he has plenty to lose. He is the defending Heavyweight champion afterall and carries the weight of not only his countrymen but those millions of fans that lend themselves to the underdog story.
He has much more time to prepare for this fight as well as the experience for having done it before.
He is still the underdog but he has plenty of fight in him.
Which ever way you look at this fight it plays out as an absolute classic. A $85 million pay day awaits Anthony Joshua and he has already stated that there may be a trilogy fight after this one. Who would blame him.
Andy Ruiz too we be paid handsomely for this fight. A payday that he truly deserves and we hope this does not have a bearing on the outcome of the fight.
People that say the first fight was a fluke victory for Ruiz simply do not understand boxing. This is the fight game and anything can happen. You can break it down as much as you want but the reality is that Ruiz dominated Joshua in their first encounter.
Some fighters match up badly with others and whilst I think stylistically Ruiz is a bad match up for Joshua I think he is too smart a boxer to allow Ruiz to have it his way again.
This is a very difficult fight to predict however Anthony Joshua is the obvious choice from a betting perspective now that the odds are a lot closer together than their first encounter.
Best Betting Plays
Anthony Joshua To Win By Decision @ $5.00
Anthony Joshua To Win in Rounds 7-12 @ $3.50