Ruiz Jr. looking FAST: Will he send Joshua into retirement?
By Barry Holbrook: IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. (33-1, 22 kOs) looked fast and powerful during his public workout today in Riyadh for his rematch against British heavyweight Anthony Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) on Saturday.
Joshua, 29, is talking about wanting to turn the fight into a marathon, which is a huge hint that he’s going to use spoiling tactics to avoid Ruiz.
That’s going to make it tough on Joshua to win rounds if he’s evading Ruiz through most of the fight, and not standing his ground. Of course, with the match taking place in Saudi Arabia, Joshua could get favorable scoring.
Will Joshua retire if he loses?
A knockout win for Ruiz could be the tipping point to send Joshua into retirement. That would be a real horror story for Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn, since he said this week that Joshua’s career WILL persist even if he loses again. With Hearn having no one that can step into the void to fill Joshua’s shoes as a money maker for Matchroom Boxing, it would be a crushing blow if he retires.
Working the mitts with his trainer Manny Robles, Ruiz Jr. showed off the blazing hand speed that he used to crush Joshua last June, causing him to give up in the 7th.
A thinner looking Joshua also worked out, and seemed a little bit faster than his first fight with Ruiz.
Joshua says his improvements will make it hard for Ruiz
“The changes I’ve made will make it very difficult for Ruiz Jr in the rematch,” said Joshua to Sky Sports News. “It’s a marathon not a sprint, and I will be victorious. The main thing is about being in control of every situation.”
Hopefully, Joshua doesn’t make the fight boring, because many boxing fans will be paying a lot of money to travel to Saudi Arabia to watch it. They want to be entertained, and not put to sleep in watching a large heavyweight run for 12 rounds.
Matchroom has put together a poor undercard other than the co-feature bout between Alexander Povetkin and Michael Hunter. So if Joshua bores the fans in running from Ruiz, it’ll put a lot of pressure on the co-feature bout to make the card worth watching.
AJ won’t be surprised when he wins
“I know how good I am,” said Joshua. “I dedicate my life to boxing, so it will be no surprise when I win. This is all I’ve got so when I do amazing things I keep my head on my shoulders, and my feet on the ground. I know I’m capable of doing it but it’s about doing it in those 36 minutes.”
Joshua has something up his sleeve for him to be so confident in this match, and it’s very likely that he’ll look to survive for 12 rounds and hope to win a decision. This is Joshua’s venue, so it’s like him fighting in London or Cardiff. That’ll make it tough on Ruiz to win a decision unless he does something spectacular.