Fightful Boxing Newsletter (12/6/19) Table Of Contents
1. Andy Ruiz Jr. vs. Anthony Joshua 2 Preview (Page 1)
3. Notable Results From The World Of Boxing (Page 3)
4. News And Notes From The World Of Boxing (Page 4)
5. Status Update On WBC Champions (Page 5)
6. WBO Convention Notes (Page 6)
7. Dillian Whyte Cleared By UKAD (Page 7)
8. Fightful Boxing Rankings (Pages 8-9)
Andy Ruiz Jr. vs. Anthony Joshua 2 Preview:
One of boxing’s biggest heavyweight rematches in years, Andy Ruiz Jr. vs. Anthony Joshua, is here and its end result will have big ramifications for the division long term.
Six months after their first encounter, Joshua will look to re-capture the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles when the two face off in Saudi Arabia on December 7. DAZN is set to stream the fight in the United States starting at 12 p.m. ET with the main event starting around 4 p.m.
There are several interesting angles to look at this fight. From a mental aspect, it will be interesting to see how Joshua reacts to not only suffering his first pro loss, one that saw him get dropped multiple times and embarrassed in front of a worldwide audience. There’s no telling how he’ll act in the ring as every fighter handles a loss in their own unique way.
One thing that also needs to be noted is the fact that Joshua doesn’t have the pressures of fighting at Madison Square Garden in New York this time around. He’ll be fighting in Saudi Arabia and the atmosphere will certainly be different, but not as tense as the first fight was.
Physically, Joshua has taken time to slim down and is 10 pounds lighter than in the first fight. This came as a result of Joshua focusing a lot more on cardio and sparring for the rematch instead of taking time to focus on building up his body. It certainly is a smart decision in the sense that he’ll be faster and have a little more stamina in the later rounds.
But weight and physical prowess was never an issue as to why Joshua lost the first fight. Joshua got anxious and became desperate to get that knockout win after he dropped Ruiz in the third round. This played right into Ruiz’s hands as Joshua did away with the jab in favor of attacking him up close. Ruiz needed one punch to turn things around and that hook that hurt Joshua later in the round effectively sealed the deal. The punch landed on the side of the head which threw Joshua off balance and a hit like that is not something that the human body can recover in just a minute or so, especially in a fight.
The gameplan for Joshua remains the same as in the first fight. Use the jab to keep Ruiz away from him and constantly be on the move. All Ruiz has to do is pick and choose when to attack on the inside and neutralize Joshua’s reach advantage. If he can get Joshua to trade with him, Ruiz stands a good chance of hurting him again.
The winner of this fight will shape the division for a long time. If Joshua were to come out victorious, there is always the prospect of a rubber match, but with the WBA, WBO and IBF titles back in his possession, there’s a good chance his 2020 is already booked. The IBF will look to order the winner of the fight to face mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev next. If that fight gets made and Joshua retains his title, then the next step would be against Oleksandr Usyk, the former undisputed cruiserweight champion who is being viewed by many as a legitimate threat to the division.
If Ruiz wins, then the future will be much less clear. Obviously, PBC will look to secure a fight between Deontay Wilder and Ruiz for the undisputed championship as soon as possible, but that may be tricky. As previously mentioned, the IBF is looking to have the winner make a mandatory title defense next and they are more than prepared to strip Ruiz of the title if he doesn’t follow through with that. Ruiz could also keep the IBF belt and then later vacate the WBO title as PBC doesn’t really recognize the organization or its champions in most cases. If the WBO title does get vacated, then things would get a little tricky.
In that scenario, Usyk would still get the title shot but against who is the hard part. It could be against Joseph Parker or even Joshua if Joshua remains in the top of the WBO rankings if that fight ever gets ordered.
It’s crazy to think that six months ago, many were looking ahead towards a fight between Joshua and Wilder and now there’s almost no conceivable way to envision that fight. Now, no one is sure if Joshua will even beat Ruiz.
The entire main card, or at least the four fights that are guaranteed to be a part of the DAZN broadcast, consists of nothing but heavyweight bouts. The most intriguing bout on the undercard is a matchup between Alexander Povetkin and Michael Hunter.
Hunter has been riding a huge wave of momentum to become the division’s dark horse contender, winning his last six fights. A win for Hunter would more than likely put him in a position to eventually challenge for the WBA “Regular” heavyweight title that is currently being held by Mahmoud Charr. In the absolute best case scenario, Hunter could be a future opponent for Joshua if he defeats Ruiz.
Other notable fighters on the undercard include Dillian Whyte who is keeping himself busy while he awaits an announcement on what his status with the WBC will be like after he was cleared of any wrongdoing from the UKAD in regards to a failed drug test months ago. Also on the card is Filip Hrgovic, who is one of the fastest-rising prospects at heavyweight and could
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