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Anthony Joshua’s ascendancy has been restored, taking victory in his second match with Andy Ruiz junior.
When boxing’s poster boy Anthony Joshua faced pudgy Mexican puncher Andy Ruiz junior for the first time in June it was supposed to be a cakewalk.
Joshua, as the most marketable boxer in the three-horse race for heavyweight supremacy, was initially scheduled to face American Jarrell Miller who proceeded to throw away the biggest opportunity of his career when a trio of drug tests revealed that ‘Big Baby’ tested positive for far more than just hard work and dedication.
Included in the chemical cocktail uncovered by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) were GW1516, human growth hormone, and EPO.
Ruiz, a native of Imperial, California, was plugged in as a suitable replacement.
Ruiz had come up short in his last bid for a major alphabet belt in 2016, losing to New Zealand’s Joseph Parker, was an ideal candidate: A fighter with championship-level experience who posed few challenges for Joshua in his United States debut.
An unassuming fighter if there ever were one, the rotund, happy-go-lucky puncher was not rattled by the bright lights of Madison Square Garden, nor the hoards of spectators who came to watch him play the role of a lamb to the slaughter.
Although outclassed for periods of the fight, even kissing the mat for the first time in his career, all it took was one booming left-hand to the side of Joshua’s ear to author a shocking upset.
The 30-year-old dark horse will look to make lightning strike twice this morning in Saudi Arabia when he again enters the ring as an underdog to face Joshua.
Joshua, the British megastar, deserves to be the favourite heading into the rematch. He seemingly ticks every box in this fight with a reach advantage, the big-fight experience and is just the far more proven commodity.
Ruiz’s route to victory seems obvious. He needs to find the chin of Joshua, who was made many question his chin’s vulnerabilities in recent times after hitting the deck against Wladimir Klitschko and seeing stars against Ruiz.
That being said, for Ruiz to make history repeat itself, he will have to take a lot of chances, and Joshua is bound to capitalise on at least one of them.
Official prediction: Ruiz will have his moments, but I can’t see him leaving with is consciousness or his four alphabet belts. Joshua TKO11.
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