By Aragon Garcia: Andy Ruiz Jr. isn’t looking passed his December 7th rematch against Anthony Joshua, but he’s making it known that he wants to face the Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury winner for the undisputed heavyweight championship in 2020. WBC champion Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KOs) is tentatively defending his title against lineal champion Fury (29-0-1, 20 KOs) on February 22.
That fight could get pushed to the summer or even fall of next year depending on how quickly Fury’s cut heals from his last fight against Otto Wallin on September 14. It’s a bad deal for Wilder if he’s forced to sit on the sidelines waiting for Fury to finish licking his wounds from the Wallin fight. Fury’s cut needed 47 stitches to close up, and it’s not going to be fully healed for many months.
Ruiz insists he’s not overlooking Joshua
“I don’t want to look past Anthony Joshua. My eyes are on the prize with him, so after I win that fight, then I can fight Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury,” said Ruiz Jr. to skysports.com about his next target if/when he beats Joshua. I’m just missing one belt. One belt to be the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world and that’s the goal. I want to defeat him one more time, because there’s a lot of critics saying that it’s a lucky shot, that I’m going to lose. I’m using all the negative energy to positive energy, so we’re going to win,” said Ruiz.
It all starts for Ruiz Jr. (33-1, 22 KOs) in his rematch with Joshua in Saudi Arabia. Ruiz has got to win that fight for him to move forward to face the Wilder vs. Fury rematch winner. Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) remains one of boxing’s virtuoso heavyweights with the skills and the ring IQ, but this is the problem he’s facing: Does he have the ability to fend off a fighter with greater hand speed, and overall talent than him?
AJ must prove he can adapt or it’s game over
Joshua met his match last June when he fought Ruiz in New York, and all of his defects were exposed in that fight. Ruiz sliced through Joshua like he was a juicy filet mignon steak. The blueprint has now been created by Ruiz Jr. in how to beat Joshua, and there’s no way of erasing that. This happens in all sports. Once athletes know how to get the better of their opponents, it’s often game over them unless they can adapt. What makes it doubly hard for Joshua to improve enough to beat Ruiz in the rematch is his substandard stamina. Built like a bodybuilder instead of a fighter, Joshua doesn’t have cardiovascular system required to fight in a fast paced match.
When Joshua does get forced into that type of fight, he flounders if he doesn’t succeed in knocking out his opponents. It takes an opponent with a good chin, and the ability to push a fast pace. The guys that could withstand Joshua’s shots, weren’t smart enough to realize that they needed to keep the pace as fast as possible to exhaust him. To his credit, Ruiz understood Joshua’s weakness, and he forced him to fight to the point of exhaustion last June. Once Joshua was gassed out, that was it for him. With his glacially slow recovery time, he was never able to get a second wind. Even four rounds later, Joshua was still exhausted in the 7th round, and virtually powerless to prevent Ruiz from hitting him at will with combinations.
Fury predicts win for Ruiz over Joshua
“He just didn’t want to be there on the night,” said Fury to DAZN USA about Joshua in his fight against Ruiz last June. “The same again,” said Fury in predicting another KO win for Ruiz over Joshua. “His mind wasn’t the problem. The problem was he met his boogie man in Andy Ruiz Jr.
The thing is, AJ can’t change his style. He’s a brute force, great at what he does, he’s powerful and strong, and has a good boxing IQ. But he can’t come out on his toes. He can’t come out like Muhammad Ali flicking his jab, because he only knows one style, walking forward, that classic European style, and he’s looking to life heavy weights in the gym, and transfer that into a boxing fight.
“He [Joshua] met a guy in two weeks’ notice. One guy looks like an Adonis, and the other[Ruiz] like a pizza delivery guy. On paper this is a mismatch. Everyone is like, ‘this guys getting knocked out within the first four. I bet you anything.’ This guy [Ruiz] can fight. He’s had 110 amateur fights, and won 105 of them. I’d like to see that comeback story,” said Fury when asked if he’d like to see Joshua come back and beat Ruiz in the rematch.
Fury wants Joshua to win rematch with Ruiz
“Let’s face it; the bigger fight for me is Joshua rather than Ruiz. But if Ruiz wins again, and I think he will, and I’ll explain why,” Fury said. “This guy [Joshua] was given a beat down. I thought he lost every single round. Ruiz had the quicker hands. Joshua got mixed up with two different styles. One minute he was like this [Fury holds both hands up to guard his face], and the next minute he had one arm down,” said Fury.
There’s no way that Joshua can change his style for him to beat a fighter like Ruiz. Joshua either boxes on the outside or he looks to brawl with his opponents. AJ doesn’t have a third style that he can use to win his fights. His stamina won’t likely be improved for the rematch with Ruiz, which means he’ll gas out immediately.
Joshua tried using Philly Shell against Ruiz
“To do that Philly shell defense, that takes a lot of time and practice in the ring. [It takes] years,” said Fury about Joshua using the ‘Philly Shell’ defensive guard against Ruiz last June. “It’s not like, ‘I’m going to do this, because it looks good.’ I see the same thing again unless he [Joshua] can catch him early. A lot of these guys today have no clue about boxing. They fight because they want to make money, but they don’t study the game,” said Fury.
Fury is one of the few people that have mentioned Joshua’s attempt using the Philly Shell guard against Ruiz. That was an oddity, and leaves the question of who told him to fight like that? Was it his longtime trainer Rob McCracken or was something he thought he could use against Ruiz? Joshua has been using the stance since he was an amateur. For him to try changing things up for the Ruiz fight was clearly a mistake.
Fury: you don’t need alphabetical title to be #1
“There’s only one lineal champion in each weight category going back 100 years,” Fury said. “When I beat [Wladimir] Klitschko, I became lineal champion, and you can only lose a lineal championship when you get beat or you can retire like Lennox Lewis did. Wladimir didn’t become unified champion after just a few fights. It took a lot of time for him to unify the division.
“It took him years, years and years to become the lineal champion after Lewis retired. They didn’t just say, ‘You’re the next best dominant heavyweight. We’ll give it to you.’ He had to earn it, and I beat him, and took that off him and added my name to that list of boxing greats. I don’t need a title. You don’t need an alphabetical title to be #1 in the division. Just because you’re the lineal champion doesn’t mean you’re the best in your time,” said Fury.
Fury’s performance against Wallin was poor
It’s true what Fury says that a heavyweight doesn’t need one of the alphabet titles for them to be considered #1 in the division. It’s also true that very few boxing fans consider him to be the #1 heavyweight in the division. Fury’s constant mentioning of him being the ‘lineal heavyweight champion’ makes him sound insecure, and pretentious.
If Fury is the #1 heavyweight, he should leave it up to the fans to give him that status instead of bragging and putting on airs. He looked terrible against Wallin, and probably would have lost if the fight had a different ringside doctor working it.
After that performance theres no way he beats me with a hand tied behind his back.
— AndyRuizjr (@Andy_destroyer1) September 15, 2019
Ruiz wasn’t impressed with Fury’s performance against Wallin in the slightest, and he can’t wait to get him inside the ring so he can give him his first career loss.