Saturday 7 December – 10pm
Live on Sky Sports Box Office
June saw one of the largest upsets in heavyweight boxing as Andy Ruiz Jr. dethroned Anthony Joshua. Six months later, the pair meet again, this time in Saudi Arabia. Can Joshua regain his titles?
It was all going so well for Anthony Joshua until that night in June. The unbeaten WBA, WBO , IBO and IBF Champion had a seemingly routine defence of his titles lined up against Jarrell Miller in his first fight in the USA. Then Miller was forced to step down after failing drugs tests and in stepped Andy Ruiz Jr..
The new challenger wasn’t given much chance despite only having lost one professional fight. That was to Joseph Parker, who Joshua has already beaten. Then came the big shock as Ruiz floored Joshua four times and stopped the champion in the seventh round. A repeat of that has odds of 33/1 (34.0) if your wager is placed at William Hill.
Something just didn’t seem right with Joshua that evening in June. Just what that was will perhaps be revealed one day. A lot has changed in the past six months though. Joshua has removed some of the muscle mass that was slowing him down. Ruiz has gone in the other direction and will weigh just over 20 stone for this contest. The champion is 9/4 (3.25) at Paddy Power to retain his title.
We’re being promised an improved Joshua for this fight. He needs to be quicker and stay out of the trouble caused by the quick hands of his opponent. You can get odds of 4/9 (1.44) at Ladbrokes on him beating Ruiz.
Both fighters have only lost one of their professional fights. Ruiz lost on points to Joseph Parker and it’s 16/1 (17.0) at Betfair on the champion winning on points or technical decision. He’s never been stopped but Joshua can be backed at odds of 1/1 (2.0) to win this bout by KO, TKO or disqualification.
Anthony Joshua is a man on a mission and he’s determined to regain his titles. He’s changed his training methods and lost weight for this contest. His opponent has come in a stone heavier than he did for the June bout and you have to wonder why? Has he not put the effort in and is satisfied with another massive payday? Joshua will have to cope with the fast hands of his opponent but he did knock Ruiz down in the first fight. A bet on Joshua to win in rounds 1-4 has odds of 5/2 (3.5) at SkyBet.