The mandatory rematch between Andy Ruiz and Anthony Joshua will take place on December 7, 2019, in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.
The event has been dubbed as the “Battle of the Dunes” and it will happen at a temporary outdoor coliseum that will be built for the sole purpose of the fight. Diriyah is a city in the outskirt of Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.
Ruiz is the first Mexican to win the world heavyweight boxing title. He defeated Joshua via 7th round knockout in the Briton’s American debut at the Madison Square Garden last June 1st. He has a record of 33-1 with 22 knockouts with his only loss coming at the hands of former WBO champion Joseph Parker. The 29-year old Ruiz stands 6-2 and has a reach of 74 inches while fighting out of the orthodox style.
Odds from Titanbet.com as of 9/03/19
Joshua retired the legendary Wladimir Klitschko with the best fight of his life in April 2017. The former Olympic Gold medalist in 2012 entered the Ruiz fight with an undefeated record of 22 wins with 21 knockouts. The Ruiz defeat was his first and he was looking forward to a rematch in London but will take Saudi Arabia for a shot to get his belts back. AJ stands a massive 6-6 with an 82-inch reach while fighting out of the orthodox stance. Although he is the challenger and despite Joshua losing their first bout in June, he is the boxing betting favorite here.
Speculations on AJ’s Loss
There was plenty of speculation on why Anthony Joshua lost. Some say he had a panic attack while others say that he got knocked out in sparring and that got to his mind. There are people who say that AJ wasn’t mentally ready when he fought Ruiz and that fighting on hostile ground only made it worse. Then there are those who said that Joshua underestimated Ruiz.
But more than Anthony Joshua, I think that fight was about Andy Ruiz. Perhaps many misjudged him after he lost to Joseph Parker but he is much better than what he did during that fight. Remember that Parker once said that Ruiz was the hardest puncher he ever faced. Also, I think Ruiz has one of the fastest hands in boxing and when he let it go, Joshua couldn’t stop them from landing flush on his body.
If we take a look at both fighters though, Anthony Joshua is the much better fighter. He has better overall skills, he has more technique and he has the advantage in physical attributes. Not only is Joshua bigger, taller and longer, he also has quicker feet. And when you fight someone like Andy Ruiz who can be a pitbull up close, Joshua has the tools to beat him.
The main difference between the two is perhaps the chin. While Ruiz certainly has proven that he has a very solid chin, Joshua has proved that he has a glass jaw. In the first fight, we saw Ruiz walk into many of AJ’s shots and still managed to land some of his own. But remember that Joshua dropped Ruiz although the Mexican quickly recovered. On the other hand, Joshua could not recover from the first big punch that Ruiz landed so for him to win here, he must stay at a distance and fight Ruiz from afar.
I know these are heavyweights and when we see big men fight, we like to see knockouts. But I don’t see this fight going that way because if this becomes a brawl, I think Ruiz wins this easily because he is more durable and Joshua cannot take punishment. That said, I think Anthony Joshua will use his physical advantages and technical skills to pull off this victory.
Joshua is much taller and much longer that Ruiz so he can spend the entire fight just jabbing from the distance or popping his one-two punches. I envision seeing Ruiz fight intelligently here. He will try to apply pressure on Joshua early and will take shots in order to land them. I think Joshua will have his moments early on and when he realizes that he can outbox Ruiz, he is going to play it safe and fight what could be a boring bout. But don’t count out AJ trying to land that uppercut while Ruiz is coming in. Should that land clean, I think Joshua wins by knockout. I like Andy Ruiz a lot but I think Anthony Joshua is going to bounce back from his first loss and fight better in this rematch. I’m picking Joshua to beat Andy Ruiz in their rematch. Prediction: Anthony Joshua