Anthony Joshua is fighting again. Okay, okay… So it’s not the fight many boxing fans wanted, exactly. The big man isn’t taking on Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury or even Dillian Whyte. The Heavyweight champ is taking on Andy Ruiz Jr., who will be just twelve rounds away from potentially being Mexico’s first ever heavyweight champion of the world (albeit that’s pretty unlikely…).
This scrap was arranged at the last minute after the original fight had to be binned when Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller was found to have failed three pre-fight drug tests. That said, for a quick replacement, Ruiz is no mug.
Let’s see how the two men measure up and preview the bout, eh?
The tale of the tape
When’s it on? And where?
UK audiences can watch the action on Sky Sports Box Office, via their exclusive pay-per-view coverage. You also come along to your nearest Rileys and watch the fight with us, we’ll be showing it. Be prepared for a late one, though – it’s all happening across the pond…
Joshua’s first US fight sees him defend his title as the undisputed champ in Madison Square Garden in New York City. So while the bout will be happening on Saturday night (June 1st) in the States, it’ll means the early hours of Sunday morning (June 2nd) to us in Britain.
What they’re saying
Joshua on Ruiz:
“Ruiz doesn’t weigh as much, he is a lot quicker than Miller and I think he uses punch variety and punch selection a lot better than Miller does. His punch output is a lot lower but he is more accurate with his punches. I have to be better with my defence, a lot tighter and be smarter against someone like Ruiz.”
Ruiz on Joshua:
“I think my speed, the aggressiveness, the head movement is going to give him a lot of trouble. I’ve been sparring with a lot of the guys he’s been sparring and they tell me the same thing too. It gives me motivation and gets me back in the gym to train harder. I don’t want to say who said that because then they’re going to go back over there and they’re not going to have work.”
What the experts are saying
Matt Marsh (Former British super-bantamweight champion)
“I’ve watched a few clips of Andy Ruiz Jr online and he looks good against fighters who are in there to be beaten. He has got a lot of weight behind him and he packs a punch. My prediction is that Joshua wins and moves up to 23-0.”
Dmitriy Salita (Promoter & former world title contender)
“Andy Ruiz fought on my Detroit Brawl show against Josh Gormley in 2016. When I saw him train, and in the fight, I was very impressed with his speed and overall ring generalship. The saying “don’t judge the book by its cover” definitely applies to Ruiz. He is a sharp puncher with a great ring command and excellent hand speed for a heavyweight. Joshua is obviously the heavy favourite but Ruiz has the tools to make it interesting.”
Robbie Davies Jr (European & British super-lightweight champion)
“For a late replacement, this is the sort of level, I think, outside of the top guys at heavyweight. Ruiz is a good replacement at short notice. He has good boxing ability and will win a lot of hooks against Joshua, which can be unorthodox at times. I just think AJ’s sheer size, athleticism and punching power will be too much for Ruiz, with the fight finishing before six.”
Dave Allen (Heavyweight boxer)
“I really don’t think outside of two or three fighters anyone can give Joshua much trouble, just so happens I think outside of the top three or four, Ruiz is one of the better ones. Parker and Ruiz fight was close, most think it could have gone either way so not sure why Ruiz is seen as a no-hoper, I certainly don’t think he wins but he can really fight.
Ruiz is fast of hand and foot and I think Joshua will struggle with that like the Povetkin fight, don’t think Ruiz has Povetkin power though and Ruiz should slow down quicker which I’m sure he will after four or five and get him out halfway. Ruiz is better than Miller, he will give Joshua trouble for six rounds before Joshua, I’m pretty sure, certainly wears him down with his superior size and strength.”
You won’t be hugely shocked to hear that the Brit is favourite. In fact, Anthony Joshua’s odds are as short as 1/50 with some bookmakers. 1/25 is the average, but that tells its own story. If you’re one of the tiny number of fight fans that smells an upset, Ruiz can be backed at 10s, with 33/1 available for the draw.
Think it’ll go to points? That’s 4/1, with 2/9 on a decision stopping the fight early. AJ is 3/1 to KO Ruiz, with him to win by TKO a skinny 1/2. A Ruiz KO is a lengthy 50/1. Though may as well be 500/1, really.
How we think it’ll go
It seems like it’s the same ol’ story every time AJ fights… He’s going to win, isn’t he? Let’s face it, only really Andy Ruiz’s parents think he’s got much more than a puncher’s chance here.
Sure, it’s not the fight everyone wanted. But that’ll come soon for fans of Anthony Joshua. Until then, he’s got to keep focused and sharp and keep on knocking people out. And we think he’ll do just that here. Ruiz is no pushover, so don’t expect any of those early round KOs we used to get from the Watford man. But do expect Andy Ruiz Jr. to be floored.
After seeing what Deontay Wilder did to Dominic Breazeale recently (ie, completely OBLITERATE him in the first round…), we think AJ will be keen to follow suit and make an impression here. We’re going for a dramatic knockout, albeit a few rounds later. Our prediction? Joshua to win by KO or TKO between rounds 7 and 9. Fancy that? It’s 3/1.
This event at Rileys is a ticket only affair, with any unsold tickets available for purchase on the door on the night. Don’t miss out and be disappointed, book your tickets nice and early… Advance tickets are £5 (depending which is your nearest Rileys).
Don’t forget to check out our upgraded ‘Ringside Tickets’ for the very best seats in the house, plus a drink on arrival and a burger and skin on fries for only £14.99 per person.
Tickets for our Haymarket venue in the West End can be purchased through our ticket partner, Design My Night, by clicking HERE…