By Craig Kemp
Last Updated: 31st May 2019
Let’s not beat around the bush – Anthony Joshua is expected to make relatively light work of Andy Ruiz as the Brit continues on his ascent towards unifying boxing’s heavyweight division.
Joshua puts his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO belts on the line for his US debut at Madison Square Garden and is 1/20 in the bout betting to make a second successive defence of this comprehensive collection of titles.
The odds suggest a comfortable night against an opponent who was only brought in at late notice, although there are reasons to believe that Ruiz is more than just a journeyman hoping for a big payday.
What Joshua has to be wary of
Ruiz is no mug, as proved by his 2016 defeat to Joseph Parker in a world title fight in which he lost by majority decision.
However, an opponent of Parker’s style arguably suited Ruiz, who struggles largely in the heavyweight division because of his fairly short reach, which is recorded as being 74 inches.
Parker’s reach is only 76 inches and this marginal difference gave Ruiz the opportunity to get in close to the Kiwi and utilise his quick hand speed.
Obviously, having quick hands is of little use if you’re unable to get into range to land any significant blows.
Furthermore, Parker doesn’t have the reputation of being a busy counter puncher, which again allowed Ruiz to walk forward and throw punches, without any substantial risk of getting hit in the process.
Joshua certainly has the tools at his disposal to avoid suffering the same difficulties as Parker.
For one, his reach is 82 inches, while he has a much better jab than Parker. These factors combined should deter Ruiz from charging forward with little head movement at Madison Square Garden.
Secondly, Joshua is prepared to counter punch, so even if the challenger does manage to get himself into range to make the most of his hand speed, the Brit has the ability to take advantage of any lack of head movement from his opponent.
Ruiz is 9/1 to beat Joshua, or alternatively if you want to be more precise, we’re guaranteed to be the top price on all odds within the round betting market.