Everything You Need To Know Before Ruiz Jr vs Joshua 2
You’ve heard of the Rumble in the Jungle and the Thrilla in Manila, when the eyes of the sporting world were pointed halfway across the planet for a heavyweight showdown to live long in the memory. Well, strap yourself in for the Clash on the Dunes; Andy Ruiz Jr and Anthony Joshua are ready to rock!
The unified heavyweight championship will be on the line as the pair meet in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Box Office – click here to order right now! For Joshua, it represents a chance to avenge the sole defeat of his career at the first time of asking; for Ruiz, it’s an opportunity to prove that his victory in June was no fluke, and that he’s the real deal.
The whole event kicks off at 4pm on Saturday – and to get you up to speed, we’ve got your crash course right here…
WHAT HAPPENED IN THE FIRST FIGHT?
Everything. Seriously – even in a sport famed for a shock or two, this one was stacked with them! Ruiz wasn’t even scheduled to take the fight, but when Jarrell Miller failed a drugs test, the Mexican stepped in. The fight itself saw five knockdowns – Ruiz floored once, before getting up and putting Joshua on the canvas twice in the third, before finishing matters with another pair of knockdowns in the seventh, becoming the first Mexican born heavyweight champ in history. Truly, incredible.
WHAT MADE IT SUCH A SHOCK?
Before the fight, Joshua was seen by many to be the pre-eminent heavyweight fighter on the planet; undefeated in 22 fights, he was all set to take aim at the only other belt-holder in the division, Deontay Wilder. Ruiz, meanwhile, was seen as an 11-1 underdog, foiled in his only previous world title tilt. Also – and there’s no nice way of saying this – but the optics weren’t too kind to Ruiz; while Joshua looks like a marble sculpture, Ruiz, er, doesn’t. So, from the expert to the layman, there was little suggestion of what was about to unfold…
SO HOW DID IT HAPPEN?
It’s simple; speed kills. No matter how he looks, Ruiz possesses some seriously fast hands for a heavyweight – and a real engine, too. He also had the toughness to shake off a heavy shot that decked him; in retrospect, it also probably woke him up a little! Throwing punches in bunches and attacking the body, he overwhelmed Joshua – and while rumours have swirled about the Brit’s preparation for the bout, he simply had no answer for what Ruiz was putting down.
SO WHAT’S THE WORD AHEAD OF SATURDAY?
Well, it’s boxing – so they both say they’re guaranteed to win! Joshua has insisted that little needs to change on his end, while Ruiz appears to have shed some of the weight that saw him draw ridicule in the past. The reigning champ enters as the underdog, but then that didn’t stop him the first time around! Long story short? It’s got all the ingredients for a cracker…
WHAT’S ON THE UNDERCARD?
Originally, there was an Irish interest involved – but Jono Carroll saw his fight scrapped due to a training injury to opponent Scott Quigg. Nonetheless, if you’re a fan of the hardest hitting division in the sport, then you’re in for a treat; there’s a bevy of big boys assembling for this one! Former champ Alexander Povetkin will meet Michael Hunter, Filip Hrgovic takes on Éric Molina, and perennial Joshua rival Dillian Whyte returns against Mariusz Wach. Get ready to see some bombs landing!
Don’t wait until the first bell to order this heavyweight battle –click here and get it done right now!