Anthony Joshua attempts to avenge defeat in his massive rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr, but who will claim victory in another huge world heavyweight title fight?
Joshua will face Ruiz Jr again in tonight’s rematch in Saudi Arabia, live on Sky Sports Box Office, just six months after suffering a shock loss to the Mexican at New York’s Madison Square Garden in June.
Can AJ produce a satisfying revenge win, or will Ruiz Jr repeat his stunning victory? The Panel of experts have given their predictions.
I’m worried for Joshua. Ruiz Jr is super confident, he punches hard, he’s got really fast hands, and I think he’s going to back AJ up. Joshua is slimmer now and lighter, but I’m not sure that is going to help him. I just see the same fight happening. I think Ruiz Jr is going to get to him eventually, hurt him with a shot, and finish him.
Joshua has got all the dimensions to make this fight at range, get the win, and do what he needs to do. I can see how that’s possible. It’s either AJ on points, which is going to be difficult, or Ruiz Jr by knockout in the middle or late rounds.
Joshua should win. I’m going to go for a Joshua win, because it’s his to lose. Joshua got his tactics completely wrong in the first fight, let Ruiz Jr do what he does well. Ruiz Jr has got good hand speed. He got dropped and then he threw caution to the wind and let his hands go, and that was enough for him.
This time, I think Joshua needs to take the centre of the ring, control and dictate the pace, land his big shots, and we know he can hurt Ruiz Jr, he’s already put him over in the first fight. I think a stoppage. The heavyweight division, these guys punch so hard, it’s unlikely they are going to go through the whole fight without getting tagged and getting taken out.
I won’t sit on the fence, I’ve said 1,000 per cent, Anthony Joshua wins, and I think he does it on points. If he stops him, it’s a bonus. This time, he’s fully prepared for the fighter who’s in front of him.
Any fighter knows when your opponent changes, like it did for the first fight, your drive drops and you just want to get through it. You no longer give him the respect and intensity you would for the fighter you’ve been training for. Now AJ has got so much drive going into the fight, he’s got something to prove to himself, something to gain back. This could go down to the wire, but I think AJ gets it on points. He has the height, the reach, the boxing ability.
I think Joshua needs to come out and start fast. Stamp his authority on the fight, be aggressive and take the centre of the ring. Really boss the fight. If he tries to ease into it, that will just invite more pressure from Ruiz Jr.
There’s no doubt Joshua’s focus will be so much better for this fight, without a doubt, but also, will there be demons there. If Joshua gets under pressure and starts getting caught, how will he react? There’s so many variables and questions that we don’t know the answers to, which makes it hard to predict. History says immediate rematches don’t go well and I’ve just got a gut feeling it’s going to be a repeat win for Ruiz Jr.
I love Joshua’s mindset. He looks smooth and it doesn’t look an effort for him to move around the ring. He’s in great physical condition. I’m going to go with AJ pulling it off by stoppage. (SKY Sports)