Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz Jr Preview & Prediction
When is Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz Jr? Sunday 2nd June, 2019 - 03:00 start (UK)
Where is Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz Jr? Madison Square Garden, New York
What channel is Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz Jr? Sky Box Office (£19.95)
Are tickets still available for Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz Jr?
Jarrell Miller has missed out on the biggest opportunity of his career and a title fight with Britain’s golden boy Anthony Joshua. After testing positive for a variety of prohibited substances, Miller has been cut from the card, creating an opportunity for another rotund slugger in the shape of Andy Ruiz Jr.
Ruiz capitalises on Miller’s baffling decision to cheat the authorities and steps up to take on Anthony Joshua with his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO titles up for grabs. This appears to be another feeding session for Joshua while the top heavyweight contenders seek fights with lower-level competition to fill their bank accounts.
However, despite Ruiz’s soft appearance, he is no tomato can and provides a potential banana skin for Joshua on his slow and somewhat frustrating journey towards a fight with Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury. Let’s dive into the stats to analyse Ruiz’s chances.
Ruiz has a very healthy record with his only loss falling to Joseph Parker in a decision. He does not have the stature of Joshua as he gives up eight inches in reach and four inches in height but he is vastly experienced with a lot of ring time under his belt.
Ruiz’s loss to Parker was in 2016 but after 15 months off he bounced back by winning his next three fights and finished Devin Vargas and Alexander Dimitrenko. Meanwhile, Joshua has continued to add to his exceptional record and is coming off a vintage performance and knockout over the dangerous Alexander Povetkin.
It is these opponents that will make Joshua the heavy favourite. Ruiz has more experience but it is important to analyse the calibre of their opponents. See below for a breakdown of their opponents' records at the time they met Joshua and Ruiz:
Surprisingly, their opponents records are very similar. Joshua’s opponents have had more experience but they have the same win percentage. However, if you look closer at Joshua’s opponents, particularly his last seven/eight fights, these fighters are significantly higher ranked.
The most interesting stat in this breakdown is their fights with Joseph Parker, who was unbeaten at the time he met them both. This was Ruiz’s toughest fight of his career and his only loss and although Joshua won, this was the only fight of his career that has gone to a decision. Let’s compare the fight stats of their meeting with Parker:
As you can see, Ruiz put up one hell of a fight with one judge even scoring it as a draw and many believing Ruiz did enough to earn the win. He started and finished well and landed more successfully than Joshua. Joshua was more efficient but these stats prove he cannot take Ruiz lightly. This was Joshua’s most lacklustre performance to date and he was hesitant to pull the trigger but this sluggish performance proved how awkward and how difficult it is to put Parker away and Ruiz was dangerous right until the bell.
Joshua has very little to gain. He has accepted a dangerous opponent on only a month’s notice but he is still expected to waste little time in notching the 22nd knockout of his career. Joshua has been dragged into the later rounds in recent fights but still has an average fight time of just 3.8 rounds. Ruiz also makes quick work of his opponents, lasting 5.5 rounds on average, so don’t expect this fight to go to a decision.
Ruiz is incredibly durable and deceptively athletic. He has fast and powerful hands as you would expect but he also has decent endurance. He gives up a significant reach advantage but he outclassed and finished Dimitrenko in his last fight who is an inch taller than Joshua with the same reach.
He was quicker than the German and closed the distance with powerful combinations and this is exactly what he needs to do to stand any chance against Joshua. He needs to explode into range and capitalise on any lack of head movement by uncorking on Joshua’s chin.
That said, Dimitrenko is not Joshua and the champ has too much experience and too much class to slip up and will keep the distance with a consistent jab which will have the power to slow Ruiz down before landing one of his bombs.
Ruiz is dangerous and has the power to cause Joshua problems but to keep his stock intact for the fans, Joshua needs to avoid any damage and pull off a devastating knockout. That is exactly what we expect at Madison Square Garden.
Prediction: Joshua via KO/TKO