By Kenneth Friedman: Andy Ruiz Jr. has finalized his paperwork for his rematch with Anthony Joshua for December 7, and he’s vowing to end his career. Ruiz-Joshua will be taking place in Diriyah, SAudi Arabia, per the WIShes of Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing.
Ruiz’s contract for the rematch was “sweetened” by Matchroom, according to ESPN. Andy’s purse will be greater than the $9 million that he was originally supposed to get. If Ruiz (33-1, 22 KOs) destroys Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) like he’s planning to, then his purses could grow.
Joshua vs. Ruiz rivalry could end forever on December 7
Ruiz will probably never get another chance at fighting Joshua again if he knocks him out on December 7. It would academic at that point that Ruiz has Joshua’s number, and he likely wouldn’t be foolish enough to fight him a third time. That’s too bad for Ruiz, because then his purse would be closer to a 50-50 situation compared to the first fight and the rematch.
I dethroned the king June 1st and made history becoming the first Mexican/American Heavyweight Champion of the world. I’m looking forward to ending his career in the desert. Mostrare la grandeza del boxeo mexicano en Arabia SAudita. 🥊🇲🇽🇺🇸🇸🇦🇬🇧 pic.twitter.com/4asTzG4N7C
— AndyRuizjr (@Andy_destroyer1) August 24, 2019
Joshua won’t underestimate Ruiz this time
In Joshua’s loss to Ruiz on June 1, he overlooked him, and was thinking of Deontay Wilder. That’s the excuse Joshua has for the loss, and it makes sense. During the week of the fight, Joshua spoke only of Wilder, and he wanted to fight him. It was strange for some Boxing fans to listen to Joshua, because he rarely talked about Ruiz. Fans say that Ruiz got lucky in beating Joshua when he was distracted by Wilder. It’s very plausible. Ruiz was just a chubby guy, who liked to eat Snickers bars, and his career hadn’t gone anywhere despite loads of talent.
It’s never a good look for a fighter to make excuses for their losses, but Boxing fans are giving Joshua a pass this time. He was clearly thinking of the Wilder fight in the week of his fight with Ruiz. You can argue that the unbeaten Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KOs) was in Joshua’s head, and haunted him. Instead of focusing on Ruiz, Joshua talked about Wilder, and it cost him. Unquestionably, Ruiz Jr. should have been an undefeated fighter going into the Joshua fight, because his only career loss was a controversial defeat to Joseph Parker.
Another defeat for Joshua would be catastrophic
Joshua cannot take another loss, and continue to be taken seriously by fans. As the #1 moneymaker for Matchroom Boxing, it’s imperative that Joshua win the rematch. Most fans believe that Joshua is making a mistake of diving headlong into a second fight with Ruiz, but this is what he wants. Joshua wants to get back to where he was before his loss last June. That may not be possible, because he’s viewed as a flawed fighter now. Joshua’s chin, stamina, defense and overall ability is now questioned by fans.
Joshua vs. Ruiz 2 could be a boring fight
The Joshua-Ruiz Jr. could possibly be a boring fight, given that Joshua is talking of wanting to use movement to win. Joshua says Ruiz has “slow feet,” and that he could have beaten him last June if he moved. Joshua didn’t want to do that. His focus was on scoring a quick knockout, and this led to Ruiz catching him with a left hook during an exchange. To win back his IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight titles, Joshua will need to fight smart, and use the skills he displayed against Parker.