Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr.
|Date & Time||Saturday June 1, 2019, 11:00 PM (EDT)|
Madison Square Garden
New York City, New York
The Line: Joshua -2775 / Ruiz +1725 -- Over/Under: 6.5
Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr. fight Saturday at Madison Square Garden for the International Boxing Federation World Heavyweight Title.
Anthony Joshua enters this fight with a 22-0 record that includes 21 knockouts. This will be Joshua’s third fight since 2018, and he’s coming off a September win over Alexander Povetkin. Joshua is coming off an interesting competitive fight where he allowed his opponent to land more power shots than him and keep the fight close on the cards until a seventh round knockout. Each of Joshua’s last four fights have at least seen the seventh round, which obviously includes his only career decision against Joseph Parker about 15 months ago. Joshua is a 29-year-old who stands at 6’6”, 82-inch reach and an orthodox stance. Joshua is the best heavyweight in the world right now, as it’s his footwork, movement and hand speed that separates him from the rest. While everybody in this division has power, Joshua is extremely fluid with him movement and puts combinations together with surprisingly quick hands. Joshua has great technique, doesn’t take a beating and picks his spots smartly rather than loading up and going for the knockout when it’s not there. Joshua is very disciplined and is sadly on counters. This will be Joshua’s first career fight in the United States.
Andy Ruiz Jr. enters this fight with a 32-1 record that includes 21 knockouts. Ruiz has won five of his last six fights, and he’s coming off an April win over Alexander Dimitrenko. Ruiz has won each of his last three fights since his majority decision loss to Joseph Parker and will be fighting for his first belt since that bout. This is easily the biggest fight of Ruiz’s career and a game changer on his resume even if he makes things competitive in a loss. Ruiz is a 29-year-old who stands at 6’2”, has a 74-inch reach and an orthodox stance. Ruiz is a brawling heavyweight who stands in the middle of the ring and trades punches. Ruiz loves to throw hooks and always manages to throw in shots to the body when putting together combinations. Ruiz is quicker than his size indicates and certainly has the power in his hands with each of his last 12 finishes ending in the fifth round or earlier. It’s the lack of movement from Ruiz that should worry people. This will be Ruiz’s first career fight in New York.
Ruiz isn’t a pushover, as this is somebody who went toe-to-toe with Parker and just dominated a former champion in Dimitrenko. While he looks out of shape most of the time in the ring, Ruiz has a combination of hand speed and power that gives him a punchers chance to make things interesting. The problem is Joshua is a world class boxer who has the power of a heavyweight and the movement of a middleweight. Ruiz’s lack of movement and defense is going to create problems, as he’s already a big target, and Joshua is going to be able to tee off while getting in and out of danger. Pretty much every fight Ruiz has had was him trading punches and coming forward nonstop. The game plan must change for Joshua or it’s going to be a long night. Regardless, this is the US debut for Joshua, and he must put on a show to keep the hype around a potential date with Deontay Wilder.
Joshua will win this fight by knockout.