Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr. 2 preview and pick

Profile Picture: Danny Howard

September 4th, 2019

In June, Andy Ruiz Jr. scored the biggest upset win in recent boxing history at the expense of U.K. superstar Anthony Joshua. Determined to avenge his loss and dismiss Ruiz’s win as a fluke, Joshua will get his chance at revenge when the two head to Saudi Arabia for their highly anticipated rematch December 7.

Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr. odds

Anthony Joshua
Andy Ruiz Jr.

Little was expected of Ruiz the first time around

When these two met the first time, Ruiz was brought in as a late substitute and was supposed to be on the receiving end of a Joshua beating. Ruiz not only showed he had the means to handle Joshua, but eventually overwhelmed his opponent and stopped Joshua for a shocking upset win.

It would have been wise for Joshua to take an interim fight to rebound from the loss, but he is going right back into the ring against an opponent who is all wrong for him. The manner in which Ruiz beat him was clinical and comprehensive, meaning there will have to be a massive overhaul of his game plan to turn the tables.
Ruiz took the best of Joshua’s power and wasn’t bothered by it, and Joshua’s inability to keep Ruiz at the end of his punches or to limit his mobility served as the foundation for the shocking upset.

There is a good chance Joshua is going to come out more weary and tentative, which gives Ruiz a chance to bank the early rounds and remind Joshua he still has no answer for Ruiz's pressure.

Joshua needs to adjust his strategy

The best way for Joshua to use his physical advantages and athleticism is to fight tall and save his big shots for when Ruiz is against the ropes. A strategic utilization of clinches will help Joshua mess with Ruiz’s momentum and help maximize his offense while Ruiz tries to reset.

Fighting ugly is critical to beating someone like Ruiz, and it also helps mask Joshua’s leaky defense and questionable conditioning if the fight makes it to the late rounds. If Joshua’s team opts to try and improve its original game plan from the first fight, Ruiz is just going to walk him down and beat him up again.

Joshua is a questionable favorite

Oddsmakers believe that six months is enough time for Joshua to right the ship and be installed as a favorite yet again, but they are wrong. Joshua is going to be more measured early on to get a sense of how to time Ruiz for a counter, and he’ll just get outworked and become increasingly desperate while he waits.

As Ruiz begins to land with increasing success, Joshua will be compromised by the combination of pressure and body shots, and he is going to load up his shots to stop Ruiz in his tracks.

Those shots will come, but Joshua will either be out of position when he throws them, or Ruiz will be able to see them coming and counter accordingly. Once Joshua starts to concede, it will only be a matter of time before Ruiz stops him again.

Boxing free pick: Ruiz (+225)

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