Joshua says Ruiz Jr. rematch takes place in November
By Trevor McIntyre: Anthony Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) says his rematch with IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. (33-1, 22 KOs) will be taking place in November, according to Michael Benson.
Joshua, 29, will also continue working with his trainer Rob McCracken. There was recent speculation whether Joshua would dump McCracken after his loss to Ruiz Jr. on June 1, but he plans on sticking it out with him. Of course, nothing is forever.
If Joshua gets knocked out again by Ruiz Jr. in the rematch, it’s possible a new trainer will be brought in to save AJ’s shattered career. It’s in Matchroom Boxing’s best interest to gently persuade Joshua to make the switch if he loses the rematch.
McCracken is a good coach, but the belief is that Joshua wasn’t following his directions that he was giving him between rounds during the Ruiz Jr. fight. When a fighter isn’t following the advice from their trainers, it’s time to get a new coach that is more persuasive. Former heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko responded well when he had the late Emanuel Steward in his corner.
Steward was able to get Wladimir to attack his opponents. But after Steward passed away in 2012, Wladimir’s replacement coach Johnathon Banks wasn’t as effective at getting him to follow his instructions during his key fights against Tyson Fury and Joshua. McCraken might be in the same position Banks was in. If Joshua isn’t willing to follow instructions from McCracken, it’s time for a change for AJ.
Five months not a long time for Joshua to fix vulnerabilities
AJ will be back inside the ring looking to avenge his loss to Ruiz Jr. in November, and that leaves him little time to correct the mistakes that he made against Ruiz. Joshua needs not only time but tune-up fights against different opponents to get him ready for the short, burly 6’2″ Ruiz Jr. Joshua couldn’t deal with Ruiz’s height, speed and combination punching. It’s likely that Joshua won’t be ready in five months to face Ruiz in a second fight if he’s not going to take two or three tune-ups to get ready for the fight.
Joshua’s career could be over soon
Another loss for Joshua could be the end of the road for the 2012 Olympic gold medalist from Great Britain. Joshua isn’t willing to admit it now, but this could be the beginning of the end for him. Ruiz created a blueprint that will be followed by other heavyweights for the remainder of Joshua’s career. The two flaws that Ruiz exposed in Joshua’s game, stamina and a poor chin, have always been there since he turned pro. It was only until that a heavyweight was smart enough to take advantage of the flaws. You can bet that every heavyweight that faces Joshua for the remainder of his career will be looking to duplicate Ruiz’s game plan in how to beat him.