Anthony Joshua has activated rematch clause for Andy Ruiz Jr.
By Charles Bruns: Eddie Hearn revealed on Tuesday that former IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has executed his rematch clause in his contract for a second fight against Andy Ruiz Jr. in November or December, possibly in the UK. Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) made the decision after meeting with his management and trainers.
It’s not that big of a shock that Joshua has decided to take the immediate rematch with the heavyset Ruiz Jr. due to the way that he humiliated by the highly skilled American last Saturday night in getting stopped in the seventh round on June 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Joshua is ready to gamble with his career in facing Ruiz in a rematch.
You’d like to think that Hearn was the voice of reason, and tried to talk Joshua into not making the rematch with Ruiz. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that Hearn attempted to talk Joshua out of fighting Ruiz again, because there’s a tremendous upside in him winning that fight.
If Joshua beats Ruiz, he’ll be right back in the position he was in before his loss. Joshua will righted the wrongs of what happened last Saturday night against Ruiz at Madison Square Garden. The temptation to gamble was obviously too much for Joshua and Hearn to resist. But if things fall apart for Joshua with him getting knocked out again by Ruiz, he’ll be in a position where his options will be view. Hearn might need to take Joshua back to the domestic level in hopes of trying to rebuild his career by matching him against guys like Dave Allen. Joshua might not even have the confidence or the chin to beat a youngster like Allen by the time Ruiz gets done with him in their rematch in November or December.
Ruiz had Joshua looking like a human version of a yo-yo with the way he had him on the canvas four times in the fight. Each time Ruiz would knock Joshua down, he would bounce back up for more punishment. It was sad to watch Joshua get handled so easily by Ruiz. There’s levels in boxing, and Ruiz showed that Joshua didn’t belong at his level.
Joshua and his management and training team could be heading him down a doomed path that could spell disaster for the 29-year-old fighter. Joshua turned pro with a silver spoon in his mouth after winning a questionable gold medal in the Olympics in 2012, and he’s had advantages in match-making that other fighters can only dream about.
Ruiz likely to be the favorite
Hearn isn’t spelling out what the rationale is for AJ’s training team and management to give him the green light to face Ruiz in a rematch five to six months after last Saturday’s massacre in New York. Joshua is willing to take the gamble in facing the 29-year-old Ruiz (33-1, 22 KOs) in an immediate rematch in an attempt to regain his position as one of the top three elite level fighters in the heavyweight division. It’s hard not to see Ruiz beating Joshua once again. Joshua’s punch resistance and his poor stamina won’t improve by November or December.
Joshua may need to fight Ruiz in U.S again
Ruiz made it clear at the post-fight news conference last Saturday that he’s the A-side now for the Joshua rematch. As far as Ruiz is concerned, the rematch with AJ needs to take place in the U.S or in Mexico. If Joshua doesn’t like the idea of fighting in either of those countries, he can always walk away. It’s up to him. It shouldn’t matter where the contest takes place. Hearn says Joshua is the best heavyweight on the planet. If he’s as good as Hearn believes him to be, he should be able to defeat Ruiz in Mexico or the U.S. The problem is, if Hearn is wrong about AJ being the real deal, then he’ll get knocked out again.
It’s obvious at this point that Joshua isn’t as good as Hearn has been telling boxing fans, and he’s in a position where he’s gambling with his career in facing Ruiz in an immediate. Joshua is a flawed heavyweight that NEEDS the rematch to take place in the UK for him to have any chance of beating Ruiz. Great heavyweights in the past like Jack Dempsey, Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali were capable of winning anywhere. Joshua isn’t on their level obviously, so he needs the rematch with Ruiz to take place in the UK.
Joshua has too much pride to walk away without fighting Ruiz in a rematch
The decision for Joshua to take the immediate rematch with Ruiz rather than letting time go by before facing him again suggests that AJ’s self-pride has gotten the better of him. When fighters make decisions based on pride rather than logic, it puts them in situations that they’re not prepared for.
There’s a good chance that Joshua won’t be ready for what Ruiz brings to the ring in the rematch. This is how fighter’s wind up flushing their careers. They make the mistake of taking fights that they’re not ready for, and things fall apart for them. Joshua’s engine and chin aren’t at the level that they need to be for him to beat Ruiz in the rematch. Joshua needs to revamp his entire game for him to have a shot at beating Ruiz, and even then, he could still lose. Joshua isn’t going to be able to make the changes in his game in just five to six months without any fights in between.