We’re only three months away from the year’s most anticipated fight between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr, yet it would probably be fair to say that punters are still a bit unsure as to who they should put their money on. Understandably, some are still recovering from having their fingers burned in New York, while others can’t quite find the bravery needed to put their money on Ruiz Jr.
That’s what makes this such an intriguing bout and one that will undoubtedly bring the world of boxing to a standstill when it happens. Despite all the uncertainty around the clash and even after Ruiz Jr was crowned heavyweight champion in June, the expert opinion would be to back the 29-year-old Joshua to right the wrongs of Madison Square Garden by knocking his Mexican-American opponent out.
While that may get a few eyebrows raised, it isn’t really a scenario that is farfetched at all. On paper, there is only one winner and that is the Watford-born Anthony Joshua.
Joshua has superior height and reach to his opponent, which he will now surely use in his new gameplan when he takes on Ruiz Jr. With three belts on the line and one last chance to win them back, Joshua won’t dare go toe-to-toe with the combative Mexican from the get-go as he did in New York and will instead sit back on his jab until Ruiz Jr begins to tire.
Once he does, Joshua will then look to drop his hands and unleash hellfire on the exhausted Ruiz Jr in an attempt to capitalize on the 32-year-old’s poor physique and lack of stamina. Once you breakdown what is sure to be Joshua’s strategy, you do get a clearer picture of why he is the man to back in Saudi Arabia, and like his promoter Barry Hearn says: "You would fancy Joshua against Ruiz 99 times out of 100."
Calling the right rounds in which Ruiz Jr will no longer be able to defend himself is a trickier task, but should AJ diligently stick to his game plan, then you can’t see the clash in the desert going beyond the ninth round. As it stands in the latest boxing odds, Joshua is at 4/1 to win in rounds 7-9, which is quite something when you consider he was 1/25 to win this bout back in June. Naturally, after such a shock win, the odds on Ruiz Jr triumphing again had to decrease, but despite that, he is still not the favorite.
As a point of comparison, Ruiz winning in rounds 7-9 is priced at 10/1. With that in mind and with a focused Anthony Joshua being reminded by his promoters Eddie and Barry Hearn of what is at stake, you’re left convinced that the Englishman will get it done in Riyadh.
With the power to knock Andy Ruiz Jr out and the will to make it a reality, punters can be sure that the best version of Anthony Joshua will arrive in Saudi Arabia will revenge at the very top of the agenda. All signs point towards the Mexican-American hitting the canvas between the seventh and ninth as he gives the Englishman back the belts he won.