Saturday’s heavyweight between Andy Ruiz, Jr. and Anthony Joshua has divided opinion since Friday’s shocking weigh-in. Many now expect Joshua to push for a stoppage.
Ruiz came in over twenty stones, that’s if you believe the mark without taking into consideration the layers of clothes, his iPhone or the hat. Joshua was expected to target a points win after coming in very light by his standards. Although the Briton has now denied this potential tactic. Going even further, Joshua has picked out two possible rounds when he wants to finish Ruiz off. “I am not there to outbox him. I’m getting a knockout. I am going to treat him like a tree – chop him down and chop him down. In the later rounds, in round nine or round 10, I will knock him out,” predicted Joshua.
Several predictions from fighters, celebrities, and boxing experts. In total, 51 predictions were collected. They included selections from 26 current fighters, highlighted by seven current world champions and 11 fighters in the heavyweight division. The results exemplified the 50/50 nature of Saturday’s contest as the results were dead even.
22 people predicted that current unified world champion Andy Ruiz, Jr. will successfully defend his belts in Saudi Arabia, while 22 others pegged Anthony Joshua to emerge as two-time unified heavyweight world champion. Seven of those polled were too torn to make a decision at all
Here’s a selection of those guesses:
Claressa Shields, undisputed female middleweight world champion Anthony Joshua, Late KO “I have AJ winning the rematch. Why? Because that loss forced him to change up many things. He is slimmer now, using angles and knows what he is up against. I believe Ruiz will come with the smoke he had in the first fight but people forget that Joshua dropped Ruiz first! So I see a late KO by Anthony Joshua if he sticks a hard fast jab in Ruiz’s face and get the combinations going.”
Amanda Serrano, seven-division world champion Andy Ruiz, Jr, Mid/Late TKO Victory I think that Ruiz will win again. I think mentally he has the edge. Anthony, although a good fighters, doesn’t look real confident. I predict Ruiz stops him in the mid to late rounds.
Demetrius Andrade, current WBA middleweight world champion Undecided “History shows that the person who won the first time is going to win the next time. If Ruiz gets inside and uses his faster hands then it’s probably going to go the same way. But Joshua is a great fighter and if he adjusts and uses his reach to keep Ruiz on the outside then Joshua can pull of the win and get his belts back. Either way, I expect a great fight and may the best man win.”
Jaime Munguia, former super welterweight world champion and current contender Andy Ruiz, Victory “I think that Andy Ruiz will come stronger. He has more confidence in himself. Now the pressure is on Joshua’s side. Sincerely, I feel that Andy Ruiz will walk away with his hand raised.” Roman Gonzalez, four-division world champion Andy Ruiz, KO “I believe that Ruiz has less pressure to win this time. Not much about his mindset has changed since winning the first fight and entering the rematch, I think that Joshua’s mindset is insecure. There are so many people trying to tell him what he should do in order to beat Ruiz.”
Dmitry Bivol, current WBA light heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua, KO 8th Round “I think Joshua should win in the second half of the fight. Let it be 8th round KO.”
Tevin Farmer, current IBF super featherweight world champion Anthony Joshua, KO “I honestly think it’s a 50/50 fight but Joshua’s going to knock him out. I don’t know what round but he’s going to know Ruiz out.”
Carl Frampton, former two-weight world champion Anthony Joshua, Decision Victory “I go with Joshua, but someone is getting knocked out. Mentally, Joshua needs to be strong to regain the titles.”
Oscar Valdez, former featherweight champion Andy Ruiz, KO “He has a great trainer and is putting in the time and effort in the gym.”
Andy Lee, former middleweight world champion Undecided “The only thing I am certain of is that I don’t know who is going to win. It’s the hardest fight I can remember in a long time. There’s ways that both men can win obviously. It’s about their mentality now. Has it damaged Joshua? Will Ruiz be as hungry now? He has the money, the fame and the belts now. I can see Joshua boxing disciplined and winning on points, or Ruiz breaking him down again. A lot might depend on the night and who can handle the occasion. But I think the first round is most important. Whoever wins the first round sets the tone.”
Lamont Roach, Jr. Andy Ruiz, KO “I think Andy Ruiz is going to have more confidence coming into this fight. I think the beginning of this fight will be different than the first fight. Anthony Joshua came in very confident and dropped Ruiz. If that happens again, you never know if he will get up because AJ is a huge puncher. It’s a toss-up but I know Andy Ruiz will be more confident this time and if he hits him the right way he will knock him out again.”
Regis Prograis, former WBA super lightweight world champion Andy Ruiz, Victory “I’m really thinking Ruiz will take it. Last time, it looked like Joshua was a little too relaxed. Before the fight, he was just too relaxed in the ring. I don’t think he’s going to make that same mistake. But at the same time, I think Ruiz might just have his number. Ruiz trained hard for this rematch too and he’s not going to want people to think it’s a fluke. It’s a hard one to call but I’m rolling with Ruiz.”
Joe Cortez, Boxing Hall of Fame Referee Anthony Joshua, KO 5th Round “Andy Ruiz has to come in better shape than the first fight since Anthony Joshua will be hungry for those belts. It will be a much better fight this time around. The fans will be getting one of the best and most exciting fights in a long time. I predict that Anthony Joshua will KO Andy Ruiz this time around. Round five will be the magical round.”
Rosie Perez, television personality and actress Andy Ruiz, Victory “It’s going to be interesting, for sure! Joshua has revenge on his mind as well as those four knockdowns. Ruiz got a taste of being the champion and is not trying to let it go. Both have trained hard and both men have mean ass power. It could go all 12 but I don’t know about that. It’ll come down to whose will to win is stronger. Joshua, who was supposed to be the better skilled fighter, needs to use that skill set and go in and just demolish him with a crafty early KO for the win. If he doesn’t, and that first TKO from the first fight messes with his head, Ruiz will capitalize on that, show that he has skills too and could get another W by putting him down once again.
source | WBN – World Boxing News