Anthony Joshua v Andy Ruiz II preview: Fight predictions and all you need to know

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WATCH: Joshua weighs in three stone lighter than Ruiz Jr
Andy Ruiz v Anthony Joshua
Venue:Diriyah Arena, Saudi ArabiaDate:Saturday, 7 December
Protection:Stay BBC Radio 5 Stay commentary with reside textual remark commentary on the BBC Sport web site and app
‘One Evening: Joshua vs Ruiz’ – leer documentary which relives one among boxing’s excellent upsets on iPlayerhere

“He is humbled now. This might either create him a better individual, a better fighter, a better particular person, or it will also factual abolish him.”

Weak world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson is in absolute self belief about how plentiful Saturday night is for Anthony Joshua.

Six months after the Briton became as soon as fearful by Andy Ruiz Jr in New York, he will get his shot at redemption – his likelihood to be half of greats corresponding to Muhammad Ali, Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield on the checklist of heavyweights to reclaim world titles.

Ruiz, within the interim, can level to 1 among the excellent wearing upsets in most modern memory became as soon as no fluke.

Saudi Arabia is the venue for what has been billed because the ‘Conflict on the Dunes’.

However who will fetch? Right here’s all you’ve to create your mind up sooner than the ring walks on Saturday at 20:45 GMT.

The ‘what if’ questions

“It has been 30 years I in actuality had been on the boulevard for the BBC and this battle going to be within the head six of the total events I in actuality have coated,” said 5 Stay Boxing’s Mike Costello.

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Listed below are some of the crucial principle questions from the long-established battle which have followers, pundits and the media guessing what can also happen subsequent:

  • Can Joshua merely repair the ‘complacency’ he became as soon as accused of in some quarters and be extra disciplined and affected person?
  • Or became as soon as there in actuality something unhealthy on the abet of the scenes sooner than the principle battle? (And might maybe honest we uncover extra submit-battle, as Joshua has promised?)
  • Will Ruiz’s focus and desire had been lessened by his first victory?
  • And might maybe honest the true fact Ruiz fought six weeks sooner than the principle bout imply he isn’t as match this time?
  • Has Joshua recovered psychologically from being knocked down four times within the principle bout?

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‘A plentiful upset’ – Relive Anthony Joshua’s shock defeat by Andy Ruiz Jr in June

What the consultants deem

Joshua begins a 4-9 popular with most bookmakers, whereas Ruiz is spherical a 2-1 underdog. You might maybe ship your personal predictions for a battle that has slit up opinions to #bbcboxing.

BBC Sport boxing correspondentMike Costello: “There has to be a grief that Joshua’s punch resistance is not going to bolster at this stage of his occupation nonetheless I imagine this time he will be extra affected person when he has success and his vitality from long fluctuate will be decisive.”

BBC Radio 5 Stay boxing analystSteve Bunce: “I deem Ruiz can also must be rescued. I deem if Joshua has his self belief abet we can also honest uncover about Joshua fetch and Ruiz rescued from his bravery unimaginative within the battle.”

WBA world broad-middleweight championCallum Smith: “If Ruiz wins all as soon as more I wouldn’t be one bit stunned. I attain deem yow will uncover out just a few extra switched-on Joshua who is extra like Lennox Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko. It might maybe maybe be slow nonetheless I plug Joshua unimaginative.”

Hall of reputation promoterBob Arum: “I admire Ruiz to fetch all as soon as more. He is in actuality an below-rated man. His low centre of gravity works properly against a plentiful heavyweight and his hand tempo is out of the ordinary. His type plays to Joshua’s weaknesses.”

Weak world heavyweight championHasim Rahman: “I’m leaning for the time being to Ruiz by knockout. I factual deem Joshua has misplaced weight. I in actuality feel he can also honest have misplaced muscle and that might maybe be detrimental.”

WBA and IBF world broad-light-weight championJosh Taylor: “I uncover about Ruiz edging the battle factual on chronicle of Joshua’s previous anecdote in struggling against shorter, extra compact opponents.”

What about Joshua’s weight reduction?

Six months have handed since Ruiz’s fleshy body shape became as soon as puzzled sooner than he fearful the realm. And on Fridayhe weighed in15lbs heavier than last time at 20st 3lbs. He has not been heavier for a battle in larger than 10 years.

Joshua’s revelation earlier in battle week that he can also drop from 17st 9lbs to below 17st became as soon as described as “nothing quick of startling” by Costello, who added: “It makes you deem, what is in his mind?”

On Friday, Joshua confirmed his prediction by weighing in at 16st 13lb – his lowest impress in five years. However what can also that imply on battle night?

Added tempo for Joshua? A likelihood to lift less bulk and serve his engine? The flexibility to throw rapidly punches over slower, extra loaded photography?

However, on the flip facet, will the vitality that floored Ruiz in spherical three of their first contest be diminished? And might maybe honest carrying less weight decrease his resistance to punches?

And for a heavier Ruiz, is that an absence of coaching? Or will it create him extra durable than last time, when he took some punishment and aloof won through?

Will or not or not it is rowdy in Saudi?

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‘I’ve had to reinvent myself’ – Joshua on Ruiz Jr rematch

Only some British followers had been viewed within the Saudi capital in battle week, though Friday’s weigh-in saw spherical 200 flip out. Ruiz became as soon as also roared on by small clusters of Mexicans.

Some Joshua followers, draped in Union Jacks, suggested BBC Sport the gather entry to to tickets – which fluctuate from £105 to £10,500 in mark – became as soon as straightforward.

Fans who attain gather to Diriyah Arena – and organisers yell tickets were equipped in 65 nations – will sit down in a 15,000-seat venue that did not exist two months within the past.

Neil Leifer – the photographer who captured one among essentially the most iconic photos in sport as Muhammad Ali stood over a floored Sonny Liston in 1965 – will be a form of attending. His presence alone tells you this battle is a plentiful deal.

What subsequent? The scenarios

A 2nd Ruiz fetch would spark instant discuss of him going through WBC champion Deontay Wilder, who is on chronicle of meet Tyson Fury for a 2nd time in February.

Wilder and Ruiz share the identical guide, so boxing can also, in theory, be within touching distance of a prime ever bout for all four heavyweight belts.

There will not be one of these thing as a rematch option within the contract this time, so were Joshua to fetch, he too can also uncover about to Fury or Wilder to space up a keen 2020 within the glamour division.

On the diversified hand, a 2nd loss would restrict Joshua’s alternatives within the quick term and for mosey construct requires him to hold up his gloves.

Even in defeat, that would seem a harsh verdict on a man who has accomplished so considerable in so little time.

However Costello concludes: “This might be a long, long formulation abet.”

Tyson will be ringside. So will Joshua be better or destroyed?

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