This Saturday in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, the eagerly awaited rematch between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jnr takes place at 9pm (GMT)
Anthony Joshua’s first professional defeat was at the hands of Ruiz Jnr in the 7th round last June at Madison Square Garden. The unexpected loss sent shockwaves through AJ’s camp. Joshua was dropped four times in the fight as the Mexican-American claimed the British boxer’s three world title belts in one of the biggest underdog upsets in heavyweight history. This shocking spectacle has been compared to Mike Tyson’s defeat to underdog Buster Douglas back in 1990.
Andy Ruiz Jnr not only clocked up his thirty third professional win against Joshua but became the first Mexican heavyweight champion of the world! He spoke honestly to the media after his win, stating that he is always underestimated because of his flabby physique, but his nous and patience for the opportunities that came in this contest against Joshua showed his big fight, big night temperament.
Clearly Ruiz Jnr was completely underestimated by Anthony Joshua before and that is not going to happen again, this rematch will be the making of him just as it was for his boxing heroes.
“The Muhammad Alis faced it, the Mike Tysons faced it and now I’m facing it,”
“It’s all part of it. It’s no big deal. It’s about how you come back,” said a noticeably slimmer Joshua. “I have a different challenge in my head. When you’ve walked the road once, you can do it again.”
Trainer of former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker told BBC Sport “The stakes could not be any higher for Joshua, his trainer Robert McCracken, for DAZN, and Eddie Hearn is under huge pressure,” says Barry.
“It has all the makings of a classic in a country that has never seen a fight on this scale before. It does make you think back to fights like the ‘Thrilla in Manila’ and ‘Rumble in the Jungle’.”
Barry also went on to say “I think Joshua will fight a totally different fight. When he had Ruiz down, all he had to do was take his time but he ran in with the wrong punches and put himself there to be hurt.
“This time we will see more poise. If he uses his skills and controls the pressure, I think Joshua wins the fight.”
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