Ruiz Jr. wants Joshua rematch in Mexico
By Mark Eisner: Andy Ruiz Jr. wants Anthony Joshua to travel to fight him in Mexico for their rematch later this year. Ruiz Jr. upset the huge favorite Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) by a seventh round knockout last weekend to win his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Although Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing named the UK as the spot where they want the rematch to take place, Ruiz has named Mexico as the desired location that he wants to defend his belts. Ruiz, 29, was born and raised in Southern California in the U.S, but he still wants the rematch with Joshua to take place in Mexico.
“I’d love to do the rematch but first I’ve got to talk to my team, we’ll go from there and figure things out,” said Ruiz to skysports.com. “I’d love to be in Mexico, there’s never been a heavyweight champion in Mexico so I’d love to have a rematch there.”
Joshua vs. Ruiz Jr. will take place where it makes the most money
It’s unclear what the contract language states in the rematch clause that Joshua, 29, has for the fight. It’s quite possible that the fight will need to take place in the UK. There’s a lot of money to be made for both fighters if they stage in the UK. They can put the fight in a large football stadium over there. Wherever the fight will make the most money is likely where it will wind up. Given Joshua’s A-side status, he’ll look to use that to get the fight back in the UK where he’ll have the crowd on his side.
Ruiz Jr. isn’t going to want to take the fight with Joshua in a location that makes less money. If it makes the most sense for it to take place in the UK, then that’s where it’ll be. Ruiz Jr. has never fought in Mexico, so it would be a gamble for him to fight Joshua in the rematch there. What happens if they book a big stadium in Mexico City, and the fans fail to show up? It’ll also make it difficult for Ruiz’s American boxing fans to see the fight. They would have to travel all the way to Mexico to see it. For a lot of fans, that would be a hardship.
“He’s the champ for now. Just put that in mind, he’s the champ for now. I shall return. I’ve got to bounce back. This is all part of the story and the journey,” said Joshua to skysports.com about Ruiz.
Ruiz Jr. is the champion for now, but he also may stay that way for a long time to come. If Ruiz has Joshua’s number, it could be a mistake for him to fight the Mexican American so soon after last Saturday’s seven round wipe out. Ruiz knocked Joshua to the canvas our times before referee Michael Griffin stopped the fight after questioning AJ if he wanted to continue.
Joshua’s slow response to Griffin’s question resulted in the referee stopping the fight. Joshua’s body language showed that he wanted out of the fight. Ruiz had knocked Joshua down two times in round three, and two additional times in the seventh. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn said he didn’t know where he was at.
Ruiz Jr. hit the deck in the third round after getting clipped by a left hook from Joshua. Ruiz Jr. got back up, and timed Joshua perfectly with a left hook that staggered him while he was attempting to finish him off. Joshua thought that he had Ruiz ready to be knocked out, and he forgot about his defense in the crucial moment in the fight. Joshua never recovered from that big left hand from Ruiz. For the remainder of the fight, Joshua fought in a passive way, and walking on eggshells, seemingly afraid to get caught again.
“AJ will be back 100 per cent. We’ll make the rematch in the UK, November, December,” said Hearn to Sky Box Office after the fight.
It’s very likely that Hearn will resist the idea of staging the Joshua vs. Ruiz Jr. rematch in Mexico. It’s a risky fight for Joshua anyway, as he cannot afford a second loss to Ruiz without his career imploding on the spot. More than anything, Joshua needs to fight in front of his home fans in the UK so that they can give him the backing to help him beat a fighter that may have too much talent him to beat under normal circumstances.
Despite being a little chubby, Ruiz has faster hand speed, moves better, and has superior boxing skills. Ruiz is a better all around fighter than Joshua. What the 6’6″ Joshua has is an edge in power, and a big size advantage. Joshua doesn’t throw jabs for some reason, so his size advantage is meaningless. He’s not able to use his size to keep the shorter 6’2″ Ruiz on the outside.
Ruiz has no choice but to give Joshua a rematch due to the contract language they had for their fight last Saturday. It’s unknown if Hearn had the location of the second fight written into the contract.
Joshua will have a big advantage over Ruiz in the UK
It’ll be potentially hard for Ruiz to win the fight if he has to face Joshua in the UK with a British referee, and judges from that country. If it goes to the scorecards, it could be difficult for Ruiz to get a decision. The referee could be a problem as well. Who can forget the referee that worked Joshua’s fight with Joseph Parker in Cardiff, Wales. The referee basically prevented inside fighting, which kept the action on the outside. The taller, longer-armed Joshua was able to jab Parker without worrying about him in getting close.
When Parker did try and get close enough to punch, the referee would pull off of Joshua, and the action would resume on the outside. Ruiz won’t have much of a chance against Joshua if the referee is that type. Also, you never know if there’s going to be a quick stoppage. We’ve seen some of those in Joshua’s past fights. He starts throwing shots, and referee jumps the fight and raises his hand. Ruiz would not be able to let Joshua land more than a couple of shots if he wants to make sure the fight doesn’t get halted suddenly out of the blue by a referee. Ruiz has the hand speed and the counter punching ability to keep Joshua from teeing off on him the way he’s done in the past. Still, you’d hate to see a premature stoppage taint the rematch. It’s important that a quality referee be found if Joshua and Ruiz wind up fighting in the UK.