Joshua vs Ruiz 2 predictions / observations from 10 experts
It's just a few days away... The heavyweight title rematch between Andy Ruiz vs Anthony Joshua.
On June 1, Andy Ruiz, a late replacement for Jarrell Miller and a 14-1 underdog, shocked the world by knocking out Anthony Joshua.
Did Joshua take Ruiz lightly the first time? Or is Ruiz that good?
Is AJ's style made to order for Ruiz? Some in boxing think so and insist their first bout was an apparition of things to come Saturday.
Conventional wisdom: Joshua should use his reach advantage and poise to outbox the quicker Ruiz from the outside and not succumb to the lure of a brawl at close range. Can he do that effectively for 12 rounds? And should AJ adopt that style, would Ruiz be able to solve the puzzle?
Odds (as of Dec 2): Despite what many of the experts are saying and the fact Joshua lost the first bout, online sportsbook Bovada has AJ as the -205 favorite with Ruiz coming back at +175.
Below, 10 boxing experts share their thoughts about Saturday's fight.
Joshua vs Ruiz 2 Predictions and Observations
Jones thinks it's all about AJ's adjustments...
Roy Jones Jr
"The fight will come down to what kind of adjustments can AJ make. If AJ can make adjustments, he can beat Andy but if he doesn't make them to his entire style he won't beat Andy again because Andy Ruiz is a really good fighter who is one the only heavyweights that throws multiple punch combinations.
Andy Ruiz can throw 5 and 6 punch combinations as a heavyweight with good velocity and good power. Andy is not just a guy who luckily uset Joshua."
Garcia pressed Ruiz's presumed psychological advantage....
"It's gonna be a difficult fight but I think Andy Ruiz pulls it out again. He's already got his number. He already did it once. I think he can do it again. Mentally, Joshua has it in his head that he already lost to him"
"I'm leaning towards Ruiz. Everyone made excuses for Joshua. He dropped him [Ruiz]. He should have finished him but he didn't.And then Ruiz got up and dropped [Joshua] four times. People look at Ruiz's body and judge him as a fighter. He's a great fighter... And I think he'll beat Joshua again."
Shields is very pro Ruiz so long as Andy doesn't lose a lot of weight....
I liked Ruiz in the first fight and I like him in this fight. But I read somewhere that he's lost a lot of weight. I don't think that's good for him because he's always fought big. I just hope he doesn't hurt himself by trying to lose [too much] weight.... It takes away your stamina. This guy has been big all his life. So why change something you've been successful at? .... He's always in great shape."
Prediction: Ruiz, and likely by KO
Interesting... Molina believes AJ will make beneficial adjustments but they won't be enough....
Eric Molina (27-5, 19 KO)
Heavyweight contender who has faced Deontay Wilder and Joshua; Molina will battle Filip Hrgovic on the Joshua vs Ruiz 2 undercard.
“I think Ruiz comes out victorious once again. I think some things in AJ’s camp are going to get tweaked, but ultimately, it’ll be the same result as the first fight will eventually happen, but just a little bit later in the fight."
Prediction: Ruiz by late KO
Take this one with a grain of salt; Wilder and AJ are rivals and the former believes his chances of a unification showdown increase if Ruiz has a share of the title.
Deontay Wilder (42-0-1, 41 KO)
WBC Heavyweight Champion
“I really believe Andy’s gonna go in there and do it again. When I look at the first fight and I see certain things as a fighter, a lot of red flags that alert me.
And if that same mindset and momentum goes into the second fight, Andy Ruiz is going to win that easily. I’d prefer him to win because we’re in the same stable. When he wins we have the opportunity to unify the division."
Joshua vs Ruiz 2
WBA/IBF/WBO Heavyweight titles
December 07, 2019
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Broadcast: DAZN, Sky Box Office HD
Diaz believes AJ will be better prepared this time and suggests the replacement element favored Ruiz. Was Joshua who had been preparing for Jarrell Miller, caught off guard?
'I can't take anything from Andy Ruiz.... Going into that fight... Andy Ruiz was a replacement.... One hundred percent of the time, he's just and opponent. I never gave Ruiz a chance. I'm very happy that he won. It's impressive to me that he showed his heart and determination to finish Anthony Joshua the way he did.
I think Anthony Joshua will win [the rematch] because now he has to make adjustments... I think Anthony Joshua walked in that fight thinking 'this is an easy fight for me.' Mentally, he wasn't ready for an Andy Ruiz that was hungry that night.
For the rematch, Anthony Joshua is coming in with a different mentality. 'This kid is dangerous. He's a big threat. Now I have to prepare myself differently and come to the fight with a different mentality.'
When Joshua dropped Ruiz he was thinking 'This guy is done. I already got him and I'm gonna finish him. And that was his worst mistake. I don't see Ruiz winning. I think he's going to go in like the first fight and he's going to run into problems [due to Joshua's adjustments]."
Fury thinks Ruiz has AJ's number and that tweaks in the fighters' styles won't change the result...
Tyson Fury 29-1-1
Elite heavyweight; Defeated fight legend Wladimir Klitschko in 2015; Drew with Deontay Wilder
True Geordie Podcast
“Andy Ruiz is a little fat pig, comes in on three weeks’ notice, murdered every donut and taco in California and then goes in with a man who’s had a 12-week training camp with every sports scientist in the United Kingdom. But the little fat fella goes in there and bowls him over in seven rounds…
I see it going pretty much similar to the first fight.I know that they’ve both lost some weight, they’ve had more time to prepare, they’ve changed a few things in their training teams and all that.
They’ll have different approaches and they’ll try different game plans, but Mike Tyson said it: ‘Everyone’s got a great game plan until thy get punched in the face. You can be working on something for ages, you work on it, work on it, work on it, and you get tagged and that’s it.
Everybody has a bogeyman in their career. Whether you find him or not, everybody’s got one.
I think personally he [Andy Ruiz] may be the bogeyman for him, who knows?"
Joseph Parker (26-2, 20 KO)
Elite heavyweight; Former WBO Champion; Lost to Joshua by UD in 2018; Beat Ruiz via a slim controversial decision in 2017
“I don’t know. I still think it’s a 50/50 fight. It’s gonna be a very close fight. Either Ruiz pushes the fight faster and goes forward because he’s taken his best shots. Or Joshua – you see he’s trimmed down a lot – he boxes him from the outside and keeps him at bay. I don’t know."
"I think if he [Joshua] boxes from the outside and uses his advantages... His reach, he used that very well against me, but I don’t have the same style as Ruiz."
It’s a hard one for me to call.”
Hunter thinks Joshua needs to change his defense and footwork for the rematch, and insists the style match-up favors Andy. He believes there's less room for error for AJ and that Joshua must fight a more perfect fight to win.
"It seems to be a style match-up nightmare for Joshua".
A match up he didn't anticipate... Joshua has to fight at a range and from a distance to minimize those effective mid range attacks that Andy Ruiz was able to bring into the fight. He has to be prepared round after round ...steady and consistent....
He can't get hit with shots he doesn't see. If you look at the fight, he got hit with a lot of punches he didn't see. There's a defensive correction needed....
Some said he [Joshua] needs to fight tall and not short. I agree to a certain extent. But I don't agree with him fighting tall, I agree with him fighting long.... He doesn't have to stoop down. He has to stretch out. Ruiz has to [work harder because] that adds another foot or so to Ruiz being able to get to him.
If AJ knows how to use that lead hand to stop Ruiz from coming in he can control that whole situation with his lead hand and use his follow up punches and the right time. But the lead hand is the whole key, His legs and his lead hand. I would suggest that he shadowbox 6-8 rounds everyday moving moving moving until his legs are programmed... He has to set a footwork pace to benefit him in the fight."
Prediction: Maybe Ruiz
So, what are your Joshua vs Ruiz 2 predictions and observations? Please share them with us below.