It’s the big rematch and the biggest fight of 2019 as Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr renew rivalries and Betfair Ambassador David Haye gives his verdict
Expect a new and improved Joshua
Questions have been asked over whether Anthony Joshua has had enough time between the two fights with Andy Ruiz Jr to make the improvements needed to win the rematch. Judging by his performance back in June, AJ has had plenty to work on, but I believe he has had time on his side. A fighter can change significantly during a 12-week training camp. In fact, it has been much longer than that as this fight would have dominated the thinking of Joshua since the summer.
Anthony Joshua – 1/2
Andy Ruiz Jr – 11/5
Draw – 47/1
Anthony would have been thinking non-stop about the rematch, about what he could have done better first time out, if given the opportunity. We will see the fruits of that hard work on Saturday. Word around the campfire is that AJ has lost a lot of muscle bulk and is looking at throwing significantly more punches.
He has also been working on tightening up his defence and that should be much better than it was in New York. Joshua is going to be switched on and as prepared as we have ever seen him for a fight. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing this new and improved version of Anthony.
Ruiz will improve for a full training camp
There’s always a danger of the newfound fame and fortune going to a fighter’s head but that’s unlikely to happen to Ruiz. He seems to be a man who is extremely proud of his Mexican heritage and he won’t want to relinquish all of the credibility he has gathered worldwide by not training hard, paying the price and making the sacrifices required in training to get the best out of himself on fight night.
He comes into the ring with confidence, after recording the biggest victory of his career. He’s a guy who is very awkward, throws lots of punches and I don’t believe his victory will, in any way, make him a worse fighter. If anything, it will make him a better fighter. It’s worth remembering Andy had a short training camp for the first fight, having stepped in at short notice to replace Jarrell Miller. He has now had the benefit of full preparations, so it’ up to Joshua to raise his game to match that.
I do expect both fighters to have improved for the experience of the first fight. Joshua will know what it takes and what he will have to go through to get victory this time. Ruiz will know what he did last time was enough so he will be eager to build on the many positives of June and that could be enough to win the rematch. We’ll see new and improved versions of both Joshua and Ruiz and that will make for an even better fight. I expect more punches, better tactics and a more explosive contest.
For more from Betfair Ambassador David Haye head to www.betfair.com/ haye/
Betfair’s Serial Winners
Betfair’s Serial Winners series goes behind the scenes with Betfair’s stable of ambassadors to find out what it takes to become the best in the world, with David Haye one of a number of sporting icons featured. The first film in the series examined the incredible success story of 11-time Champion National Hunt race horse trainer Paul Nicholls, who with over 3000 career winners is one of the greats of the sport of racing. In the coming weeks and months other Betfair Ambassadors such as Dimitar Berbatov, Joseph O’Brien and Gordon Elliott will feature in the series.
Serial Winners – The Uncomfort zone with David Haye
In the latest episode of Betfair’s Serial Winners series, Haye talks through his shock-loss to the 38-year old Carl Thompson and how this arguably moulded him into the world title fighter he became.
Speaking in the film about the career-shaping loss Haye said: “In that fight at no stage was I going to have trouble, I was thinking about how I was going to knock him out and what the afterparty would look like. I was there thinking about all the wrong things, while he was there thinking about life and death. I was thinking about all of the things that distract you from winning.
“I was saying that I’m going to win the cruiserweight title, then move up to heavyweight like Evander Holyfield. So, then when I lost to some guy that people were saying should retire at 38 years old, maybe I’m full of shit, maybe I’m not as good as I think I am – doubts do creep in.”
“For my next fight after the loss I thought if I can pass a brain scan after this fight, I’m going to change how I live my life, my whole outlook on boxing because I’m soft. And it took me getting a good humbling, a good ass-whooping in 2004 to get me in the right position to then challenge the number one in the division in 2007, Jean-Marc Mormeck. Once again I took some beatings, I got knocked down in the fourth round. It wasn’t a shock to the system as I was battle hardened, I was tough then, I was man enough and I was the best in the world. Three rounds later I was able to knock him out.
“Winners are willing to live in an uncomfortable place, so if you want to be comfortable in your uncomfort zone, you have to learn to live there on a daily basis, in the gym, in sparring, in training. You have to put yourself in a position where it’s not nice, it’s not fun. So when you then go into a fight scenario and the going gets tough, it’s just like every day in the gym. It’s marginal gains in every element of your life. It’s those little things that no one knows are relevant that all add up to winning and losing.
“I’ve always been willing to die in the ring, I’ve said it before – it’s life and death.”
Photo by Mark Robinson