By Charles Brun: Former WBO heavyweight champion Shannon ‘The Cannon’ Briggs thinks Anthony Joshua needs to stay on the outside and box Andy Ruiz Jr. in their December 7th rematch if he wants to beat him. But at the same time, Briggs recognizes that Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) is going to need to get in the trenches and trade with Ruiz Jr. (33-1, 22 KOs) is he wants to win back his IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight titles. Briggs says Joshua can’t beat Ruiz by running away from him all night long.
Joshua will be looking to win back his titles from Ruiz on December 7th in Saudi Arabia. AJ’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing says an outside stadium is being built for the Joshua-Ruiz 2 rematch.
Briggs still chasing Wladimir Klitschko fight
The soon to be 49-year-old Briggs (60-6-1, 53 KOs) is trying to get a fight against former heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, but he’s had no success on that end. Briggs isn’t giving up though. He’s still hoping the 43-year-old former IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO champion Klitschko will change his mind and give him a fight. Briggs says Wladimir wants to come back for a fight for charity, and he’d like to face him.
Briggs says Joshua needs to use movement to beat Ruiz
“It’s a little close, and a little early for me [to predict], but Ruiz has showed up,” said Briggs to Fighthype about the Joshua vs. Ruiz Jr. rematch. “We’re going to see if Joshua is in better shape for the fight. I really like getting close to the fight so I can look to make a decision on who I’m going to go with. As we can close to the fight, I can look at the eyes of the fighters, and look at the body of the fighters, and look at who’s serious. I’m going to look at him from the standpoint where I’ve already made a decision,” said Briggs when asked how he would approach the rematch if he were Ruiz.
“Joshua is already losing weight, right? So, I’m thinking he’s going to be moving a lot. So I’m going to be on my toes, ready to stock him. If I’m Joshua, I’m going to be keeping that jab from the distance, but I can’t just do that. I’ve got to do this; move side to side. He’s got to use the ring to keep him out there, but you’ve got to beat the champion,” said Briggs.
Using movement won’t likely bring success for Joshua, because he doesn’t move well enough to keep someone like Ruiz off of him. There won’t be any element of surprise if Joshua uses that tactic, considering that his trainer Rob McCracken and promoter Eddie Hearn have already revealed that plan. You can bet that Ruiz will spend a considerable amount of time in training camp working on chasing down his sparring partners with them using movement.
Movement may not work for Joshua
Ruiz has fast feet for a guy his size, and he’s not someone that can be eluded with movement. He knows how to cut off the ring, and dig punches to the body when his opponents move on him. Joseph Parker tried to use movement against Ruiz in their fight in 2016, and it was ineffective. Ruiz got to him every time, and lit him up with combinations.
Joshua’s game plan for the Ruiz rematch will most likely involve moment, constant clinching and jabbing. He says that Wladimir Klitschko has been giving him advice, and that could mean that he’ll use his style of fighting to stymie Ruiz’s offense. We saw Joshua effectively use the Klitschko-esque fighting style in his win over Joseph Parker in 2018. Despite the success he had, Joshua surprisingly went away from that style of fighting in his last two fights against Alexander Povetkin and Ruiz.
Joshua can’t just move and expect to beat Ruiz says Briggs
“Now Ruiz is the champion. So how do you beat a man backing up and boxing?” asked Briggs.
Shannon talks about Joshua trimming down his muscles:
“That’s what I think he’s already doing, to be honest with you,” said Briggs when asked if he thinks Joshua should lose some of his bulky muscles. I think he’s already doing that. I think that’s what’s happening, you know?” said Briggs.
What Briggs doesn’t realize is Joshua is the A-side in the rematch with Ruiz, and his promoter Hearn picked out the venue for the fight. What this likely means is that Joshua will have the advantage when it comes to the scoring for the fight by the judges. So even if Joshua chooses to move all night long like Briggs advises him to do, he can still win the fight. Ruiz needs to come into the fight with the mindset that he needs a knockout to win.
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If it goes to the scorecards, it’s quite possible that Joshua, 29, will get the nod by the judges. Being the A-side gives a huge advantage over Ruiz. Hearn didn’t want to bring the rematch back to the U.S, even though fighting in New York was basically the same as having the fight in the UK. Joshua had the fans on his side for the first fight with Ruiz last June at Madison Square Garden in New York. It would have been a different story if the fight had been staged in Ruiz’s home turf in Southern California. That’s where Ruiz lives, and his fan base is there.
Briggs discusses his goal of getting Wladimir Klitschko fight
“Right now, I’m trying to get [Wladimir] Klitschko to come out of retirement, because he said he wants to fight in a charity match,” said Briggs. “So, I said, ‘Let’s go champ. I’m down,’ but he kind of is scared. We’re going to see. We’re working on that.
But the truth of the matter is, I’m fighting in 2020. I’m coming back. Nobody is going to be able to stop me. Look at me y’all. Anybody can get it. He [Wladimir] knows it, but he’s scared. I can’t do nothing about it. I’ve walked to him, and tapped his pockets everyday, and he’s said, ‘Champ, chill. Stop, man.’ So I can’t do nothing about it. I keep bullying the man. But anybody that wants to fight me, I’m down. I ain’t go not no qualms about it. Let’s go champ,” said Briggs.
Briggs has been talking about wanting to make a comeback for the last three years, and he still hasn’t come back. He reportedly has a net worth of $10 million. You have to wonder if Briggs would have been back fighting a long time if he didn’t have that kind of money. As far as getting a fight against Klitschko, it’s unlikely to ever happen. Wladimir has never shown interest in fighting Briggs after watching him lose to his brother Vitali Klitschko in 2010.