It was a result which few expected, indeed it was something of a surprise to us when Anthony Joshua failed to extend his perfect 22-0 professional record when he went up against Andy Ruiz at Madison Square Gardens last weekend. The 29-year-old was unsurprisingly installed as huge favourite for the bout and looked ready to live up to expectations when he knocked Ruiz to the floor in the third round thanks to a swift left hook.
It hadn’t been a walk in the park up until that point but many observers expected this to be the spark which would send Joshua to what many believed would be an inevitable victory. Nevertheless the favourite looked a shadow of the man who had previously gone 22 fights without defeat and when Ruiz returned to his feet it was downhill all the way for the former world champion.
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Joshua appeared confused and vulnerable from that point onwards and he was dropped on two occasions before the end of the round. Indeed he was floored twice more in the seventh round and this prompted the referee to call things off.
This raised the obvious questions. Was there something wrong with Joshua? Was he suffering with an illness or suchlike? Was he a fraud? Were the tactics of trainer Robert McCracken to blame?
The immediate talk was of a rematch and promoter Eddie Hearn announced that he would be looking to pair Joshua and Ruiz together again before the end of the year. Will Joshua bounce back from this hugely disappointing defeat or will Ruiz prove that it was no fluke? The bookmakers predict the former with William Hill going 3/10 that Joshua gets his revenge before the end of 2019 with Ruiz 5/2 to repeat his victory.
Anthony Joshua v Andy Ruiz Jr Rematch – William Hill Odds
3/10 – Anthony Joshua
5/2 – Andy Ruiz
25/1 – Draw