Anthony Joshua SHOULDN’T retire if he loses to Andy Ruiz – Saunders
By Barry Holbrook: Super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders says he’s against Anthony Joshua retiring if he loses this Saturday in his rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr. in Saudi Arabia. Saunders a second loss for Joshua (22-1, 21 Kos) would only mean that he’s beaten by one fighter during his career. It’s not like Joshua has lost to a lot of guys. Ruiz has proven that he’s the better fighter, and there’s no shame in that for AJ.
Saunders wants the British boxing public to support Joshua 100%, and encourage him to fight his best. He doesn’t Joshua to brawl with Ruiz though, because it’s too risky and it could lead to him getting knocked out again. Saunders states that the 6’6” Joshua should use his height and reach advantage over the 6’2” Ruiz, and not put himself at risk by letting him get in close to land his shots.
When they fought last June, Joshua started off well when he was on the outside. But after he dropped Ruiz with a left hook in round 3, he got careless and left himself open for a counter left.
Joshua shouldn’t retire if he loses to Andy again
“Will he be deeply inside worried about if he gets beat? Of course he will,” said Saunders about Joshua. “But I think if you’ve been beaten once, you get beat again, he’ll have to make a decision. I don’t think he’ll retire, and I don’t think he should. Ruiz proved that he’s the better man.
“What should be talked about is getting behind the man. He’s a fellow British man to get the win. That’s what people should be doing, not talking about after he loses, and putting the pressure on. Forget about that. Let’s put pressure on he’s going to win, and bring those titles,” said Saunders.
If Joshua loses the rematch, he’ll have tried two game plans that failed to work against the American Ruiz. In the first fight, Joshua tried to slug, and that didn’t work. Presumably, Joshua will box in the rematch this Saturday, and see if that works.
If Andy is the better boxer, and is able to beat Joshua again, then there’s always the trilogy match that he can take. In a third fight, Joshua could try and get physical with Ruiz, and rough him up for the entire contest. It might work for Joshua.
Tom Little states Joshua looking sharp
“There’s not a heavyweight in the world touching Tyson Fury,” Saunders said. “I would put my life on the line for that,” said Saunders to IFL TV. “Let’s put him at the top. Anthony Joshua, I’m not going to go on his last performance. I may put him joint second with Wilder. This fight here, Joshua isn’t looking as muscular. He’s not doing as much weights obviously.
“Tom [little] said he’s looking sharp, and looking good. So I’m going to go on this time, he wants the hunger of the win back, not going in there for a few quid. Sometimes you get a big complacent. When you get satisfied, and you’re not going to want food as much. I hope the lion is awoke inside of him, and I really rate Ruiz, and I really rate Joshua,” said Saunders.
The hunger wasn’t there for Joshua in the first Ruiz fight, and that’s probably the reason for his defeat. Joshua was thinking about a unification match against WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, and fights against Oleksander Usyk and Dillian Whyte. AJ took his eye off the ball, and didn’t focus enough on Ruiz and wasn’t ready for the type of fire power that he brought on the night.
This was Ruiz’s Super Bowl in fighting Joshua, and it meant everything to him. The fight obviously meant a lot less to Joshua, as he was looking beyond Ruiz towards a unification against Wilder.
Joshua could have stopped Ruiz last time – Saunders
“I think if Joshua had played it right last time, Joshua could have stopped him,” said Saunders. “When Joshua knocked him down in the 3rd, if Joshua had said, ‘Alright, I’ve had you down, let’s be smart about it.’ Let him use his amateur pedigree, he could have gotten rid of him. No, he fought. He was in America, and he wanted to showcase something he hadn’t seen before.
“I believe something went wrong in the camp somewhere, but he could have won that night. To make a long story short, you can’t change what happened. History is gone, but you can put it right,” said Saunders.
Joshua could have knocked Ruiz out if he had taken his time after hurting him in round 3, but he thought he was ready to be stopped in that round. He had done an excellent job of nailing Ruiz with a perfectly timed left hook in the round.
That was the way that Joshua should have fought Ruiz for the remainder of the fight in looking for big single shots, rather than going all out for the knockout in round 3.
Joshua might have gotten complacent, and thought he could use a cookie cutter approach to getting Ruiz out of there. it didn’t work. Ruiz had more talent than the fighters that Joshua had been facing up to that point, and it was a mistake for him to shoot for a knockout so soon.
AJ will win the rematch
“I think he’s going to do the job,” said Saunders. “It’s a very good fight. It’s not a guaranteed fight for him, but if he listens to Rob McCracken, and listens to his boxing Olympic brain more than anything, he wins the fight,” said Saunders about Joshua. “It doesn’t matter if he wins it by one point.
“If Anthony Joshua hits him with one shot, and he doesn’t need to hit him with too many more, don’t do it. He can’t afford to take any chances in this fight. If he wants to gamble and take a chance, it could be dangerous. But if he wants to go in there and use his boxing brain. ‘I’m going for a points win.’ Sets his mind before he goes inside the ring; ‘this is what I’m going to do,'” said Saunders.
Saunders might not remember how Joshua used to fight when he was in the amateur ranks, because he was a slugger. He didn’t box guys. Joshua was slugging with everyone he faced. Most of the time, Joshua was successful with his brawling style of fighting, but occasionally the wheels would come off, and he’d lose.
Joshua’s performance in the 2012 Olympics left a lot to be desired. He won the gold medal, but he could have lost 3 times in his fights with Roberto Cammarelle, Erislandy Savon and Ivan Dychko.
It’s too risky for Joshua to try and KO Ruiz
“Don’t worry about knocking him out, because when you worry about knocking them out, you have to take chances. Don’t take no chances. If the knockout comes, it comes. Joshua beats him if he uses his,” said Saunders. “Olympic boxing brain. He’s a big long man with big long arms.
“Don’t get involved. Listen, people slag when you lose. The man has made millions. He’s secured his family’s life. So that sort of thing, you don’t have to worry about,” said Saunders about Joshua being wealthy.
Saunders’ advice about Joshua boxing Ruiz is quite sound, and that’s what he clearly needs to do. If Joshua’s stamina and punch resistance was better, then it wouldn’t matter. He could stay in the trenches and eventually use his size and power to punch Ruiz’s lights out. Joshua IS the bigger puncher than Ruiz, but he doesn’t possess the chin or the engine to be able to fight like that.
AJ’s los to Ruiz showed that he’s not equipped to fight the way he normally does if he wants to win.