In Review

Andy Ruiz Jr vs. Anthony Joshua II: fight guide, predictions, ring walks, UK start time, TV, odds

Can British challenger Joshua get revenge in Saturday’s rematch?

Andy Ruiz Jr vs. Anthony Joshua II 

  • What: IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO world heavyweight title rematch  
  • When: Saturday 7 December  
  • Where: Diriyah, Saudi Arabia  
  • Ring walks: 8.45pm (GMT) according to Sky Sports 
  • Fight start time: 9pm (GMT) 
  • TV channel: live on Sky Sports Box Office 

When Anthony Joshua last stepped into the ring with Andy Ruiz Jr in June he was an undefeated world heavyweight boxing champion and the overwhelming bookies’ favourite to extend his superb record.

Seven rounds later in New York City Joshua’s belts, and undefeated record, were gone as Ruiz Jr scored an upset that pundits described as the one of the biggest shocks ever in boxing history. 

Roll on six months, British fighter Joshua is now the challenger and the 30-year-old is out to reclaim the belts from the Mexican champion in Saudi Arabia on Saturday evening. 

At the weigh-in on Friday Joshua was 16st 13lbs, the lightest he has ever been for a world title fight and 10lbs lighter than the first fight. Ruiz Jr weighed in at 20st 3lbs, 15lbs heavier than the first fight. 

Here we look at what the fighters are saying ahead the rematch, the tale of the tape, pundit predictions and betting odds.

How to watch Ruiz Jr vs. Joshua II on TV

The big title fight will be shown live in the UK on Sky Sports Box Office and will cost £24.95. Sky subscribers can click here and non-Sky subscribers can click here to book.

The “clash on the dunes” in Saudi Arabia will also be shown at official screenings in London and at many pubs, clubs and bars throughout the UK.

Where to watch Ruiz Jr vs. Joshua II: official screenings, pubs and bars

Ruiz Jr vs. Joshua II: tale of the tape

Andy Ruiz Jr 
  • Nationality: American/Mexican  
  • Age: 30 
  • Nickname: Destroyer 
  • Height: 6ft 2in  
  • Stance: Orthodox 
  • Reach: 74in  
  • Record: 33-1-0  
  • KOs: 22 
Anthony Joshua 
  • Nationality: British 
  • Age: 30  
  • Nickname: AJ 
  • Height: 6ft 6in  
  • Stance: Orthodox
  • Reach: 82in 
  • Record: 22-1-0  
  • KOs: 21

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What the fighters are saying 

Ruiz Jr

“Inside the ring, I’m the champion of the world. I’m Mr Hulk in there and I’ve still got a lot to accomplish. This journey now is what I’ve been dreaming about all my life. I accomplished my dreams on 1 June and I’ve still got a lot to prove on 7 December. 

“It feels good. You know I made history in New York and I’ll make history again in Saudi Arabia.

“It might be a little harder than the first time. I've got to show my skills, my talent. We’ve got to see where he’s at, because all the pressure is on him. The pressure isn’t on me because I followed my dream, made my dreams come true. 

“Of course I want more though - I want the legacy of Andy Ruiz Jr.”

Joshua 

“It’s more myself I have to change. I am looking at myself in the mirror and saying I know I’m better than that. Andy is still the same person. He will come game and I’ve got to change some of my bits and bobs. ​I was 50% of the way towards getting a win, just got caught.​

“There is fire in the belly. There are things I have had to do to take me to the next level. I am confident I can be victorious and when I am I will tell everyone of how I went wrong. I am a challenger. This is my chance at the heavyweight championship of the world.”

Predictions: who will win the rematch?

Deontay Wilder, WBC heavyweight champion, via Sky Sports

“I really believe Andy’s gonna go in there and do it again. When I look at the first fight and I see certain things as a fighter, a lot of red flags that alert me. And if that same mindset and momentum goes into the second fight, Andy Ruiz is going to win that easily. I’d prefer him to win because we’re in the same stable. When he wins we have the opportunity to unify the division. If Joshua wins, I don’t think that’s gonna be.”

Tyson Fury, British heavyweight boxer, via the True Geordie Podcast

“Andy Ruiz is a little fat pig, comes in on three weeks’ notice, murdered every donut and taco in California and then goes in with a man who’s had a 12-week training camp with every sports scientist in the United Kingdom. But the little fat fella goes in there and bowls him over in seven rounds… I see it going pretty much similar to the first fight.” 

Paulie Malignaggi, American former boxer, via talkSPORT

“I see it a better fight than the first fight. I see Joshua winning the fight. I think it’s a fight where they’ll both push each other, they should bring the best out of each other and I don’t think Ruiz will have to make any adjustments to the first time. He just kind of went through him and that was it and I don’t think Joshua ever got started, you know? So I think Joshua will get started, I think Ruiz will be forced to make adjustments and I think they will bring the best out of each other and I edge it to Joshua.”

Amir Khan, British boxer, via Sky Sports

“He [Joshua] needs to go back to boxing. If he can be smart, use his jab, keeps it long, then I think the knockout will come. I think AJ will stop him - maybe between rounds five and seven if he sticks to his game plan. I’m sure he’s going to be ready for this.”

Dillian Whyte, British heavyweight boxer, via talkSPORT

“I think it’s a great fight just like the first one was. Everyone was overlooking Andy Ruiz in the first fight, even I thought Joshua was gonna knock Ruiz out in six rounds… The great thing is he has a chance to put everything that was wrong right. He’s British, he’s my competitor and he’s my rival, I’m gonna back him. Hopefully he wins and I want him to win.”

Joseph Parker, New Zealand heavyweight, via Boxing Social

“I don’t know. I still think it’s a 50/50 fight. It’s gonna be a very close fight. Either Ruiz pushes the fight faster and goes forward because he’s taken his best shots. Or Joshua – you see he’s trimmed down a lot – he boxes him from the outside and keeps him at bay. I don’t know. I think if he [Joshua] boxes from the outside and uses his advantages. His reach, he used that very well against me, but I don’t have the same style as Ruiz, it’s a hard one for me to call.”

Kevin Barry, Joseph Parker's trainer, via the BBC

“Ruiz has the belts and everyone says once you become champion you’re 10% better and I think that is a fair statement. But 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.”

Ewan Lavender, The Stats Zone

“Joshua is expected to head to Saudi Arabia fully focused and the most motivated he has been in his career. He may step on the scales lighter to try and match the speed of Ruiz and up his output. His defence will always be a question mark but if he works on his footwork and head movement he can match the first 2.5 rounds in the first fight and go on to finish Ruiz in vintage Joshua fashion. Winner: Joshua via KO/TKO.”

David Haye, British former boxer, via Mirror Fighting

“I’m split regarding this fight. It will either end in a knockout or on points and if it goes to points it means Ruiz wasn’t able to duo what he does best and throw clusters of punches and work the body - and that Joshua will have kept him at bay with his jab and won enough of the rounds. But if there is a knockout, I believe it will come from Ruiz. If Joshua stands there throwing combinations with someone who bases his whole style on trading punches and turns it into a slugfest, I believe Ruiz will do something similar to the first fight. If he [Joshua] forces Ruiz to take more risks it will open the opportunity for him to land a massive counterpunch when Ruiz is tiring. That’s the only way I can see Joshua knocking out Ruiz.”

George Foreman, former two-time world heavyweight champion, via talkSPORT

“Oh, he’ll [Joshua] come back and be even better now, because [of] the realisation that you can lose. Sometimes you can believe all the hype and you just think you can’t lose. I’ve been in that position. You’re on the floor. The greatest thing is the embarrassment. If you can overcome that by way of friends and family, you’ll be better. When you lose a fight as heavyweight champion of the world, it’s not like you lost a fight, you lose a part of yourself and you got to go find it. A lot of times, the hardest part is you didn’t get beat, you just fell for the hype. People say ‘you’re so good, you’re so good’ and then you think ‘I let the people down’. But you can recapture yourself and understand look, I’m an athlete, I got to go back to the drawing board.” 

Lennox Lewis, former three-time world heavyweight champion, via FightHype

“If they don’t fix what is wrong with Joshua, Ruiz Jr wins that fight hands down. It must be mental as he didn’t look the same coming to the ring as he usually looked. Hopefully it will come out in the future. Joshua made it easy for Ruiz Jr because he wasn’t fully there.”

Mike Tyson, former world heavyweight champion, via Parimatch  

“I don’t know because anything is possible. They’re both great human beings, I like both of them personally, but this is a fight and I just hope the best man wins.”

The Daily Telegraph

“As good as Andy Ruiz was last time out, we can’t see any way Joshua gets beaten here again. If he is, then there will be serious questions about his future in the sport. Joshua by TKO in round eight.”

Dan Rafael, ESPN

“I think it [the rematch] will probably be very different. Despite much discussion about how Joshua didn’t look right or wasn’t at his best, blah, blah, blah, he sure looked pretty good when he dropped Ruiz flat on his back in the third round. Then he got nailed later in the round and suffered a concussion. That Joshua made it as far as he did into the seventh round and was still in the fight was impressive. He will be ready for the rematch and he knows what’s at stake. Joshua also knows what Ruiz is capable of, so I expect Joshua to be in top shape physically and mentally for his most important fight. Think Lennox Lewis-Hasim Rahman II [Rahman uspet Lewis in a fifth round KO in their first fight in 2001, and then Lewis got his revenge seven month later with a fourth-round KO in the rematch].”

Steve Kim, ESPN

“When they fought back in June, Ruiz was thought of as nothing more than a portly late replacement. But as Joshua found out, this was a book that never should have been judged by its cover. Expect to see a more disciplined and focused AJ this time around. Ruiz has been taking an extended victory lap and you just wonder - is this Buster Douglas 2.0? [Douglas surprised Mike Tyson to become the heavyweight champion in 1990 with a 10th-round KO victory but lost a third-round KO against Evander Holyfield eight months later and never regained the belt].” 

Frank Warren, boxing promoter, via Daily Mail

“I think his last few fights have showed that his [Joshua’s] chin is a bit suspect, no doubt about that. Certainly the last fight proved it and that is something that’s always going to be there. I look at it and think what is AJ going to do? Is he going to box? I don’t think he's going to outbox him because Ruiz has got fast hands and I think he will catch him again and knock him out again.”

Andy Ruiz Jr vs. Anthony Joshua II: the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight belts are on the line in Saudi Arabia

Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP via Getty Images

Betting odds

Prices according to Oddschecker 

Fight winner
  • Ruiz Jr to win: 2/1  
  • Joshua to win: 4/9  
  • Draw: 33/1 
Method of victory
  • Joshua by KO, TKO or disqualification: 1/1
  • Ruiz Jr by KO, TKO or disqualification: 11/4  
  • Joshua by decision or technical decision: 4/1  
  • Ruiz Jr by decision or technical decision: 16/1  
  • Draw or technical draw: 33/1 
Round betting
  • Joshua on points: 4/1  
  • Ruiz Jr on points: 16/1
  • Joshua round 7: 16/1  
  • Joshua round 5: 16/1  
  • Joshua round 6: 16/1  
  • Joshua round 9: 18/1  
  • Draw: 33/1  
  • Ruiz Jr round 9: 33/1   
  • Ruiz Jr round 8: 33/1  
  • Ruiz Jr round 7: 33/1  
  • Joshua round 1: 33/1  
  • Ruiz Jr round 3: 40/1  
  • Joshua round 12: 40/1  
  • Ruiz Jr round 12: 66/1  
  • Ruiz Jr round 1: 66/1  
  • Full price list: oddschecker.com 

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