Andy Ruiz Jr vs Anthony Joshua – Big Fight Odds and Preview December 7

AJ can take back belts if showing patience

Anthony Joshua/England ©imago images / Icon SMI 06.11.2019

The decision to choose the Diriyah Stadium in Sauda Arabia ahead of the Principality Stadium in Cardiff for the rematch between Andy Ruiz Jr and Anthony Joshua should benefit the challenger as he bids to regain the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles.

Evening temperatures away from the coast in Sauda Arabia average around 20c and, while that’s not hot enough to cause distress to boxers, it’s warm enough to make a difference to the mental and physical capacity of a big man like Andy Ruiz Jr over 12 rounds.

It’s just a pity that only pay-per-view subscribers will be able to watch this fight given the time difference means it will staged at a reasonable time in the UK but no big fight takes place nowadays without the TV money.

Both men have slimmed down for this bout, Joshua more noticeably than Ruiz – but will their respective weight losses have affected their ability to take a punch and deliver a knockout blow of their own?

Ruiz desperate to cement credibility

Ruiz (21/10 on Betfair) is desperate to prove that his shock June 1 seventh-round TKO of Joshua in New York was no fluke. He was mocked ahead of that bout on account of his size, profile and stature, which is not one typical of world heavyweight champions. But he knocked Joshua down four times before the referee called a premature halt having climbed off the canvas himself in the early minutes.

A left hook landed by Andy Ruiz Jr in the second minute of the third round at Madison Garden marked the beginning of the end of Joshua’s US debut at Madison Square Garden and has left the Briton with bridges to rebuild and confidence to restore.

We all knew that Joshua’s jaw was not infallible prior to the first meeting between these two giants – Wladimir Klitschko had floored him at Wembley two years earlier. But the shock of seeing him so vulnerable against a heavyweight not regarded as being among the elite was one that rocked British boxing and the sport in general.

Ruiz Jr, a late substitute for the disgraced Jarrell Miller in New York,  has actually only lost once as a professional – a controversial majority points decision against Joseph Parker when fighting for the vacant WBO title. Joshua later comfortably outpointed Parker.
The first-ever world heavyweight champion of Mexican descent, the 30-year-old from California will not give up his titles easily now he’s hit the big time. However, his team will be well aware that a rematch with Joshua is the best way to secure another big pay day. Another victory will establish their man as a bona-fide opponent for the likes of Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury.

There is no doubt that Ruiz has quick hands for a man of his size. He may look overweight but he has tremendous upper body strength, though is naturally a little more leaden-footed than the others currently inhabiting the upper echelons of the heavyweight division. That extra poundage allows him to absorb punishment, however, and also gives him a solid base. The big question in this rematch is whether he’ll fight with the same freedom he showed in New York. There, he had nothing to lose – here, there is everything on the line!

AJ will have to conquer doubts and a dangerous opponent

This bout is essentially make-or-break for a slimline Anthony Joshua.

There is almost no doubt that AJ didn’t take Andy Ruiz Jr seriously in their first meeting. He got snapped by a sucker punch and never really recovered.

The American has had twice as long to prepare for this rematch, which must be a worry for supporters of Joshua who are willing to take the best 4/9 about the Briton regaining his world titles.

To Win Fight  
Anthony Joshua 4/9 4/9 4/9
Andy Ruiz Jr 21/10 7/4 15/8
Draw 33/1 28/1 33/1

(Betting Odds were taken from Betfair, Unibet & Betfred on December 5, 2019 at 2.00pm)

Ruiz has fought 11 more times than Joshua and has 11 more victories on his CV. But he has been taken the distance many more times than the former champion – 11 to Joshua’s one. The Briton’s reach is far superior and he is five inches taller than the Californian. However, none of that stopped the American latino connecting plenty of times with Joshua’s chin in New York and Joshua had had problems previously with shorter men like Alexander Povetkin.

It would be crazy for Joshua to trade blows with Ruiz given what happened in the first fight. He should really be able to control the fight from a distance if he is back on his game but those fast hands of Ruiz can do plenty of damage.

Some pundits are expecting to see AJ try and finish off his opponent quickly but I’m not sure if that’s either wise or possible. Joshua played a waiting game when beating Parker and, to some extent Klitschko. He needs to box clever in this one as well as a second defeat in succession will put serious doubts on his ability to climb into the ring with better fighters than Ruiz. But Joshua has appeared much more focused in Saudi Arabia than in New York and that is a good sign as he attempts to take down his baby-faced opponent.

 

Joshua to win by Decision or Technical Decision
4/1

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