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January 18, 2020
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Andy Ruiz Jr. vs. Anthony Joshua 2 predictions — Who will win?

Andy Ruiz Jr. vs. Anthony Joshua 2 predictions -- Who will win?
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At this point, it’s the only question worth asking: Who will win Saturday’s heavyweight world title bout between Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua at the Diriyah Arena in Saudi Arabia?

Ruiz (33-1, 22 KOs), got up from the canvas in Round 3 to defeat Joshua by seventh-round TKO in June to win the WBA, WBO and IBF world titles at Madison Square Garden in New York. Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) was down twice in the third round and two more times in the seventh before the fight was stopped at 1:27 minutes.

The rematch is one of the most anticipated fights in boxing this year.


Dan RafaelDan Rafael
ESPN.com

Joshua by KO
This is a huge rematch and there is huge pressure on Joshua after what happened in June. But I think he overlooked the late replacement Ruiz and paid the price. No way he does that this time. I think Joshua is a better athlete and a better puncher, and he’s bigger. Ruiz might have been a little distracted given all the hoopla over his victory. I think Joshua will be as prepared as he can possibly be and will get the job done by late knockout.


Timothy Bradley Jr.Timothy Bradley Jr.
ESPN boxing analyst/former champion

Joshua by TKO
This fight will be interesting for two reasons: pressure and pressure. Joshua has so much pressure on him to deliver an unprecedented performance. I know he made changes to his physique by leaning out, taking off some of his armor. He will be looking to outbox Ruiz. I think Ruiz’s leaning out indicates supreme focus, and I also believe he’s planning to outbox Joshua. Ruiz will always have that warrior instinct in his back pocket, and he is smart enough to know when to use it. But I’m going with numbers: 6-foot-6, 249 pounds, one Olympic gold medal and an 82-inch reach. Joshua by TKO inside of four rounds.


Mark KriegelMark Kriegel
ESPN boxing analyst

Ruiz by TKO11
Ruiz has the hand speed and the skills to beat Joshua again. He’s also got a new Mercedes truck, a new Rolls-Royce and a new home (well, it’s more like a mansion, really). And I’m wondering, does he think he won the lottery? Or does he think of himself as a guy who’s going to be champ for a long time? Is he Rocky or Buster Douglas? As my faith in human nature is eternal, I’m going Rocky. I think.


Nick ParkinsonNick Parkinson
ESPN UK

Joshua by KO
There’s a surprising amount of fight fans, pundits and boxers in the UK who fancy Ruiz to prevail in the rematch, but for me, Joshua will get it right this time and stop Ruiz in the second half of the rematch. Joshua might be twitchy and cautious early on, but expect him to utilize his reach and height this time around by boxing on the outside. Joshua will eventually start landing clean, big punches.


Teddy AtlasTeddy Atlas
ESPN boxing analyst

Joshua by decision
Joshua submitted to Ruiz in the first fight, now he needs to decide how he wants to live and feel. Then, there is hope, because he can still land rights inside Ruiz’s wide hook. How do you spell redemption? J-O-S-H-U-A.


Nigel CollinsNigel Collins
ESPN.com

Ruiz by KO
The rematch should feature hard-hitting action similar to the first fight. A relaxed Ruiz will again outlast Joshua, who very well could be handicapped by memories of their first encounter.


Steve KimSteve Kim
ESPN.com

Ruiz by KO
I expect Joshua to try to box a more disciplined fight from the outside — do his version of Wladimir Klitschko. But I’m not sure that he can reinvent himself so quickly. Eventually Ruiz, who is quicker off the trigger and more fluid, will begin to catch him with his fast combinations. Ruiz scores a stoppage in Rounds 7 to 9.


Eric RaskinEric Raskin
Showtime Boxing

Ruiz by KO
Joshua thinks too much in the ring, whereas Ruiz fights on instinct — with the benefit of fast hands and skillful counterpunching. Ignore the body types; there was nothing fluky about the first result. While AJ’s power certainly makes him dangerous, I expect another midrounds stoppage win for Ruiz.


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