ANDY Ruiz (33-2, 22 KOs) wasted a perfectly good opportunity last weekend to repeat over Anthony Joshua. While Joshua was expected to exact revenge over his one-time conqueror--Ruiz always had that puncher’s chance, having already stopped Joshua the first time around—he boxed circles around Ruiz, who came in even heavier than the first fight and vengeance was served.
RUIZ. After shocking the world in dethroning the hulking Joshua while sporting an opulent waistline, there had been some speculation that Ruiz was training hard to get himself in proper shape and come in much leaner and lighter.
There were mixed reactions to the plan, with the legendary coach Freddie Roach himself opining that it was a mistake for Ruiz to come in lighter since he had achieved the near impossible by knocking out Ruiz at his comfortable weight.
FATTER. Well, Ruiz must have taken that advice to heart but overdid it by coming in with much more blubber than the first outing. The result was that he couldn’t move around as much. Joshua did his homework and executed a brilliant gameplan--he boxed and limited the opportunities for Ruiz to plant his feet and engage.
The result was a unanimous decision win for Joshua. Ruiz himself, blamed his inability to catch Joshua on the extra weight he gained. Talk about overstating the obvious.
EXCUSE. That’s one of the worst excuses I have heard in boxing. Ruiz won the first time because Joshua fought the wrong fight and came in overconfident. He engaged the smaller, pudgier Ruiz who could punch like a mule and paid dearly for it.
To everyone--except Ruiz maybe--it was fairly obvious that Joshua was going to come in to the second fight looking to box and not to engage. Joshua negated his height and reach advantage the first time by coming in too close and allowing for exchanges. He probably thought fat Andy couldn’t hurt him at all.
This time around, he came prepared and fully respected Ruiz’s power. Ruiz should have anticipated that and prepared well for a boxing-and-moving Joshua. He did not. Instead of training his ass off, he supersized his fries and went for that extra soda. That’s that.
JOSHUA. As for Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) , the jury is still out on him. He has lost that veneer of invincibility with the Ruiz knockout. His chin is glassy. Old man Wladimir Klitschko hurt him with a huge right hand.
I don’t know how that chin will hold once Deontay Wilder lands with one of those monster overhand rights.
LAST ROUND. It’s on Demosthenes “Bobong” Romero, who celebrates a milestone as he turns 50 tomorrow. Cheers!