Andy Ruiz Jr. will again step into the ring and face Anthony Joshua as an underdog six months after posting boxing’s most shocking upset in decades,.
This time however, oddsmakers give Ruiz (33-1) a much higher chance of keeping the IBF, WBO, WBA, and IBO heavyweight belts he took from Joshua (22-1) at Madison Square Garden in June. Currently FanDuel lists Ruiz at +192 for Saturday’s fight in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. DraftKings offers Ruiz at +170, and William Hill posts odds of +200 on the champ.
For the fight being billed as the “Clash on the Dunes,” Joshua’s odds are -260, -230, and -240 at FanDuel, DraftKings, and William Hill respectively.
On June 1, Joshua was a -3335 favorite at DraftKings over the 6-foot-2 Ruiz (+995), who gave up four inches in height and eight inches in reach despite weighing 20 pounds more. None of that mattered as the Mexican-American knocked out the former Olympic gold medalist in the seventh round.
Ruiz replaced Jarrel Miller at the last minute when his bout with Joshua fell through because of a failed drug test. Ruiz was coming off an April 20 win over Alexander Dimitrenko and when signing him, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn included an automatic rematch clause should Ruiz win, with Joshua’s camp having rights on where the fight would be held.
Casino.org informs that all parties decided to hold the rematch in August, in the Middle Eastern country, as the Saudis agreed to build a special arena just for the fight.
Ruiz Inspired to Retain Titles
Both fighters held a press conference in the suburb of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital and largest city on Wednesday.
Ruiz is aware that he’ll possibly see a different Joshua on Saturday, one who has lost some weight and who has had six months rather than six weeks to prepare for him.
On Friday, the weigh-in for Saturday’s bout will take place.
Nevertheless, realizing that Joshua will step in motivated will just make Ruiz more motivated.
Ruiz said, “I’ve been doing this since I was 6 years old, and it’s finally paying off. There’s no way that I’m going to let these belts go. I’m going to die trying, and I’m going to do anything that’s possible to get that victory.”
Joshua informed he has been asked whether it would be a special moment for him if he could beat Ruiz and become a two-time champion. It wouldn’t as he knows he belongs at the top, was his reply.
He said, “I’m not here to put on a show. I’m just here to win.”
What’s Coming Next?
The winner of Ruiz-Joshua 2 will probably face the winner of another awaiting heavyweight rematch late in 2020.
On Feb. 22, Tyson Fury (29-0-1) and Deontay Wilder (42-0-1) are expected to fight. The two fought to an epic draw on Dec. 1, 2018, as Fury lasted a 12th round knockdown. The venue for the rematch has not been announced yet.
Wilder knocked out Luis Ortiz in the seventh round on. Nov. 23. For most of the fight, he had been behind Ortiz; however, he required just one punch to end the bout.
In the rematch, William Hill currently lists Fury as the slight favorite, with -138 odds, compared to Wilder’s +110.