Short term memory is something combat sports fan never quite seem to grow out of. After an initial contest fans and media tell anybody who will listen how they cannot see the loser of the first bout winning in a rematch. Even after some of the biggest upsets these assertions are made, and Joshua Ruiz 2 is no different. Joshua was the main attraction in that first fight for a reason. Those skills do not just go away overnight. It is more likely that everyone will instead witness vengeance delivered at Ruiz’s expense.
A post shared by Anthony Joshua (@anthonyjoshua) on Nov 27, 2019 at 6:52am PST
The first bout was not some novel display of talent and deft by a heavyweight underdog. Joshua was not overwhelmed by tact or even devastating power. He got tired, he tucked his head down and Ruiz threw looping punches behind Joshua’s ear and up against his arms. He may as well have shoved Joshua to the floor for two of those knockdowns. Joshua’s clearly faster and more powerful, with the reach to keep his distance as he chooses.
If AJ chooses to brawl with again, who knows what will happen. The most important things for him to do are to use his jab to keep distance, keep moving and for the sake of his career keep his lead hand up by his chin. He continued to keep the hand low even after getting rattled and it made no sense. Everything about his performance and body language seemed like he knew he was compromised and did not care to take precautions to win.
These are just the obvious adjustments to be made without knowing how his trainer will prepare him. Do not blink though, the UK fanbase has summoned Joshua to exact vengeance on this American adversary and that is a powerful motivator for any athlete.
If he can put his punches together after hurting Ruiz, he will likely win inside five rounds. This was certainly the wakeup call Joshua needed to either take fighting more seriously, prepare more carefully, or to withdraw from contests when he knows he is not healthy. Even with a victory the performance may leave fans questioning Joshua’s chin. No one really knows how he will perform until they settle it in the ring.
A post shared by Anthony Joshua (@anthonyjoshua) on Nov 20, 2019 at 5:33am PST
Everything will be answered soon, but the loser of this bout really will be doomed. Joshua will have lost twice to an unknown who certainly does not look the part of a world class athlete. His brand will never be the same after losing to a fighter like Ruiz. His renown will fall, and his lifestyle will suffer alongside his income. He will be cast away as another cosseted UK hype train. Ruiz will have his first win labeled a fluke and his rising pay days will come to a halt. Even worse for him, it is in no way beneficial for Joshua to give Ruiz a rematch. AJ and his team, if they are smart, will move forward toward new challenges with more popularity and Ruiz will have simply been a road bump for boxing’s pride of the UK. ■