By Scott Gilfoid: David Price is warning Anthony Joshua that he’s taking a tremendous risk in choosing to face Andy Ruiz Jr. in an immediate rematch rather than letting time go by before facing the compact American again. Joshua is stubbornly insisting on fighting Ruiz straightaway in a rematch. Joshua could soon be regretting his decision after the speedy Ruiz does the job on him again.
Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) has made up his mind that he wants to face Ruiz Jr. (33-1, 22 KOs) right away to try and win back his beloved IBF, WBA & WBO heavyweight titles that he lost last Saturday night in a seventh round knockout at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Is Joshua about to make the same mistake Price did?
Price, 35, can relate to what Joshua is feeling right now in wanting an immediate rematch with Ruiz. Six years ago, the 6’8″ Price was stopped by former world title challenger Tony Thompson in the second round in February 2013. Ignoring better judgement, Price went straight into a rematch with the 6’5″ Thompson five months later, and was stopped in the fifth round in July 2013.
The 6’8″ Price was warned at the time by many people not to take the rematch with the southpaw Thompson straightaway, but he chose to ignore their advice and face him anyway. The rest is history. Thompson had Price’s number, and he walked him down to score a 5th round TKO. Price’s career has never recovered from those consecutive losses. Joshua is about to potentially make the same mistake Price did.
“If I had my time again, I wouldn’t have taken a rematch with Tony Thompson at all, never mind straight away,” Price said to skysports.com. “I think it’s a massive risk because Andy Ruiz is a quality operator, fast hands and he puts his shots together really well…Joshua seemed to struggle with the compactness, the shortness of Ruiz, his hand speed.
Joshua could become Price 2.0
Joshua has already made up his mind that he wants the rematch with Ruiz, 29, immediately. Joshua triggered his rematch clause with Ruiz Jr. earlier this week, and now his promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing is negotiating the date and the venue for the second fight. The rematch will is targeted for November or December in the UK.
Although Joshua said that he wouldn’t mind coming back to Madison Square Garden to face Ruiz for the rematch, Hearn and the rest of the top brass at Matchroom will likely talk him out of it. It’s not just Joshua who stands to lose a lot in a second fight with Ruiz. Matchroom needs Joshua to remain at the top so that he can continue to bring in a lot of money
Price warns Joshua to just jab Ruiz in rematch
Joshua needs to play it safe by just jabbing the hard hitting Ruiz in the rematch, says Price. He wants Joshua to stay on the outside, and just jab him. It’s going to be difficult for Joshua to stay on the outside, and jab, because he gets tired from just jabbing. Joshua has too much useless muscle, which makes even jabbing a real labor for him. That’s one of the reasons why Joshua didn’t bother jabbing against Ruiz last Saturday, because it was too much of an energy expenditure for him to throw jabs. Even fighters that jab are susceptible to counter punchers with fast hands.
If Joshua tries to jab Ruiz from the outside, the Mexican counter puncher is going to quickly close the distance to nail him with his combinations. Ruiz says Joshua can’t move going backwards. Joshua’s feet are stuck in quicksand no matter where he’s at in the ring.
“He’s got to keep it long and literally jab his way through a points victory,” said Price about Joshua.
Price’s advice sounds nice in theory, but it’s not practical advice.