THE shock of Andy Ruiz’s victory over Anthony Joshua is still reverberating round the boxing world. He sensationally toppled the Briton inside seven rounds at Madison Square Garden on June 1. With that win the plump Mexican not only plucked away Joshua’s WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles but he became an instant cult hero, appearing on major US television shows and even feted by the president of Mexico. There is no doubt that rematch will be a huge event. But is it the right move for Joshua to go straight into it after such a significant reverse?
That’s what his promoter Eddie Hearn has indicated they will do. They have triggered their rematch clause. “We can announce that we’ve confirmed the rematch [for November or December of this year]. For me the UK feels like the right place to do this,” he said. “Respect to Andy Ruiz, it was a great performance. We knew he’d be dangerous that’s why we picked him. We wanted to give everyone a great fight.”
Joe Joyce, a long time sparring partner of Joshua’s from his days on the GB Boxing team, advises careful consideration. “It’s a big boost for Ruiz. He already knows what to do, just do it again,” Joyce told Boxing News. “I think I’d have one [fight] in between because he’d have to build up his confidence again. What actually happened? Did he get concussed with sparring? Maybe that’ll come out and explain it. Maybe it was just a bad day. His dad was going after Eddie after the fight, I don’t what the reason was for that. Was he unwell?”