Predictions! Ruiz Vs. Joshua 2 Full Fight Preview
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I know it’s a knee-jerk comparison to make, but Ruiz Jr. is not Buster Douglas. Douglas was a career-long underachiever who had no major prior accomplishments, but finally lived up to his potential for one dramatic night. Ruiz was already known to be a quality fighter going into the first Joshua fight — his only career loss was a narrow decision against the very solid Joseph Parker, whom Joshua failed to impress against soon afterward. The Tyson-Douglas dynamic was “legendary vs. forgettable,” while Joshua-Ruiz was “potentially great vs. good-but-not-elite.”
What I’m trying to say with this tangent is that the first fight wasn’t a fluke. It wasn’t an atypical performance from either man. Joshua got overeager trying to capitalize on a knockdown and took a compromising blow.
That doesn’t mean there’s no intrigue to be found in the rematch, though. Beyond the fact that both men have reportedly shaken up their strength and conditioning programs, the revelations of their first encounter will assuredly affect their gameplans. Both men know they can hurt each other, but that it’s Ruiz who’s more apt to deal the lasting damage. We can almost certainly expect a more aggressive Ruiz and a more outboxing-focused Joshua.
Unfortunately for Joshua, Ruiz is better going forward than “AJ” is going backward.
Joshua’s one hope besides landing a better version of the hook that floored Ruiz is favorable refereeing. In his fight with Parker, overzealous officiating prevented the shorter man from doing any work on the inside. That’s not a possibility to bank on, though. Expect Ruiz to find his way into the pocket after a few competitive rounds and score the repeat finish.
Prediction: Ruiz via fifth-round technical knockout
MMAmania will have LIVE coverage of the main event. The DAZN broadcast begins at noon Eastern, with Ruiz and Joshua set to make their ring walks at 3:45 p.m. ET.