This weekend will see one of the most anticipated rematches of the year as Anthony Joshua will try to reclaim his WBA, IBF and WBO world heavyweight titles against Andy Ruiz Jr. Once again it will take place on foreign soil for the Brit, but it will be in an unusual and neutral location of Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.
The undercard is also set to be a cracker as 8 other heavyweight will go toe-toe and no doubt hoping to make an impression to get a fight with winner come Saturday.
Ruiz vs Joshua 2
This will no doubt be considered one of the most important fights of 2019 as both fighters can potentially go onto rule the heavyweight division outright.
Andy Ruiz managed to pull off one of the great heavyweight boxing upsets in the last fight with a tremendous display, knocking Joshua down four times before the ref called it off. I imagine he will no doubt want to make another statement again to show that the first fight was no fluke by coming out in the same manner come Saturday night.
In the first fight Ruiz stepped in after Joshua previous opponent Miller failed a drug test. It seemed the nice guy approach leading up to the fight and his tubby appearance may have caught AJ off guard. Especially when you compare them standing next to each other.
For the casual fans, the Mexican/American heavyweight was probably seen as easy fight for Joshua, but for the hardcore boxing fans many knew that the pressuring style of Ruiz could cause serious problems for any fighter, especially AJ. Not to say he had already challenged for world title the same year Joshua won his world title in 2016 (A defeat to Joseph Parker, someone Joshua himself beat).
Anthony Joshua, for the first time in a while will be the challenger and there will be a huge amount of pressure on the British boxing star to come back and get a convincing win. There was many rumors that Joshua was not 100% leading up to fight. This included being KO’d in sparring a couple of weeks before the fight and having a panic attack in the dressing room. I personally think he was simply caught off guard due to Ruiz’s nice guy approach and flabby Physique. He simply wasn’t as up for it and unfortunately in boxing you can never afford to do that, especially at heavyweight.
As mentioned above it will also be in a neutral location of Diriyah, Saudi Arabia and being headlined “Clash on the Dunes” It will be interesting to see who will adapt best to the new environment and the the outdoor venue does look spectacular.(see below) It should no doubt be a special event for everyone involved on Saturday. It will also be interesting to know what the climate will be like there at that time of year, and maybe the hot air of Saudi Arabia might just suit Ruiz due to himself training in warmer conditions in California
HOW THEY WIN
I’ll start off with current champ Ruiz – I think he will come out with more or less the same tactics as the first fight. He’ll need to once again create a lot of pressure of Joshua and force him onto the ropes so he can unleash his very quick combinations. If he can trap Joshua on the ropes or force him to panic and make mistakes again he may just get another convincing victory.
For Joshua, he will no doubt be more cautious this time against the Mexican and should look to use his physical advantages by using his jab with feints all night against a smaller Ruiz. This could well frustrate Ruiz as the fight goes on and could even help him land a big straight right-hand if Ruiz continues to come forward.
There is no point this time getting caught up in firefight on the inside, as we all know what happened last time. I do expect a much more disciplined display by Joshua this time around.
I think it will be closer fight this time around, Ruiz will no doubt come out again looking to create panic and pressure, but I do feel Joshua will have learned from the last fight and will look to definitely try win this fight by using his physical reach and continued moving to stop Ruiz from planting his feet to unleash his vicious combinations. Joshua PTS decision
WHERE CAN YOU WATCH RUIZ VS JOSHUA?
The US and Canada will be shown exclusively on DAZN – sign up here.
UK will be showing the fight on Sky Sports Box Office.
What time will Joshua v Ruiz be on?
Ring walks are expected to be around the following:
US/CA: Eastern: 3.45pm, Central 2.45pm, Pacific, 12.45pm
The Undercard is also set to be a cracking night with lots of KOs expected in this one – it truly is a night of the big men! Dillian Whyte will be on the card against former world champ Wach and a WBA title eliminator will see the dangerous Povetkin face off against former Cruiserweight Hunter which should be an interesting contest. There is also the talented Croatian Hrgovic against Eric Molina for the WBC international title. See the undercard below along with my predictions in bold.
Dillian Whyte v Mariusz Wach – heavyweight contest – Whyte KO
Alexander Povetkin v Michael Hunter – WBA world heavyweight title eliminator – Hunter PTS
Filip Hrgovic v Eric Molina – WBC international heavyweight title – Hrgovic KO
Mahammadrasul Majidov v Tom Little – heavyweight contest – Majidov KO
I’ll leave you with Motivedia’s look at Ruiz vs Joshua fight below to get you ready for fight night this weekend.
Thanks for reading and enjoy watching the fight!
(With Christmas coming up why not check out my top 20 Christmas boxing gifts)
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