IMPERIAL— Imperial’s Andy “The Destroyer” Ruiz and the current WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO unified Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the world will defend his titles December 7 in the highly anticipated rematch with Anthony Joshua.
Due to the fight taking place in Saudi Arabia, the broadcast will begin at 11 a.m. ET and the main event is slated for 4 p.m. ET (approximate).
When Ruiz dramatically upset Joshua with a seventh round TKO June 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, the Buster Douglas and Rocky Balboa comparisons began to surface as Ruiz came into the fight a 10/1 underdog in many sportsbooks.
Now, the narratives have shifted to the question of Ruiz going two-for-two.
“I feel that I have an edge. He’s probably gonna be thinking in the back of his head, ‘how did this chubby kid beat me?’” said Ruiz to Desert Review reporters in June about having an edge over Joshua after the first victory. “I think he’s going to be running through the fight over and over (in his mind) just like I’ve been. We just gotta stick to the game plan and execute what we gotta do in the rematch.”
To recap, after a nationally televised five-round stoppage of Alexander Dimitrenko in May of this year, Ruiz appeared at Sparta Boxing in El Centro for a sparring session and the announcement of a potential short-notice fight against Joshua who was scheduled to fight Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller June 1. Miller failed a drug test in April which caused the last-minute shuffling of opponents for the June 1 date. Ruiz TKO’d Joshua to become the first heavyweight champion of Mexican descent in boxing history.
It’s imperative to keep in mind the Ruiz/Joshua rematch will be Ruiz’s third fight in an eight-month span as opposed to Joshua’s two fights since September of 2018.
Ruiz has released sparring footage leading up to the Joshua rematch and appears trimmer and noticeably leaner.
Las Vegas seems to be unwilling to take a shot this time, as the betting lines have drastically homogenized since the first fight. Ruiz is currently a (+165) underdog and Joshua is floating around the (-200) range. In the first fight Ruiz was set near the (+1,000) mark and Joshua was a heavy favorite nearing the (-2,000) mark.
Much is left to be determined in the December 7 rematch. Will Ruiz win and execute the two-fight sweep, or will Joshua even up the count at 1-1 to set up a potential Joshua/Ruiz 3?