Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz Preview and Odds
May 31, 2019
Sporting stars are made in the United States. It’s the land of opportunity and Anthony Joshua has the chance to have his name up in lights when he faces Andy Ruiz at Madison Square Stadium this Saturday night.
It’s the Brit’s US debut and he will be defending his IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles at around 4:00 am UK time. Without question, AJ’s loyal following will be setting their alarms for the event, with around 10,000 of his fans touching down in New York to witness their star live in the flesh.
Inevitably, the occasion is being fuelled with excitement, but the odds suggest that we are in for a one sided affair. AJ is as short as 1/25 with Ladbrokes, but the beauty about heavyweight boxing is that when the two men step inside the ring, anything can happen.
The Ruiz Tale
Make no mistake about this upcoming bout, Ruiz is the big underdog. At 11/1 with 888sport, it would be one of the biggest boxing upsets in modern times if the Mexican were to overcome Joshua. The odds aren’t ridiculously overwhelming, but that’s only because the bookies learnt their lesson from Buster Douglas in 1990.
Ruiz is stepping into the ring with a record of 32-1, most notably off the back of an impressive display against Alexander Dimitrenko. Known for his surprisingly quick movement, the Destroyer is a fighter who likes to step forward into his opponents. His quick jab was highlighted last April against the German, whose team threw in the towel in round five.
Of course though, this victory did not solely create the path to Joshua. The Brit was scheduled to face Jarrell Miller, but after the latter failed a drug test just two months before the bout, Eddie Hearn and co had to quickly find a replacement. Many names were thrown into the ring, but Ruiz emerged as the top contender after failed negotiations with Luis Ortiz.
It is a huge step up in levels for the Mexican, with the betting odds reflecting this. He has taken the fight on just one month’s notice, so nobody can question his desire and mentality. It will take more than that to overcome the undefeated champ though, who will look to expose Ruiz’s lack of head movement. The Mexican has the near impossible challenge of striking a balance between being courageous, but also incredibly naïve.
Value in AJ Betting Odds
Although Ruiz possesses his speed and significant power, Joshua is the massive favourite. There is very little value to be found in him winning the fight outright, so fellow punters will most likely turn to the boxing specials.
At 1/2 with Sport Nation, you can get an AJ victory via TKO. Everybody is familiar with the sheer speed and power of Joshua’s combinations, attributes that have resulted in 21 knockouts in 22 fights. Ruiz is a fighter who tends to step forward into his opponent, so the opportunity will arise for the champion to come to blows and try to clip the Mexican cleanly.
Many fans will be hoping for an early stoppage, but all four of AJ’s last fights have gone past the sixth round. There is no denying that the possibility is always there for Joshua to quickly get the job done, but he may be wary of Ruiz’s swift counter strikes. On away turf, the champion could look to settle into the fight and not unleash from the off. Betfair are giving this factor some credit, as the Mexican is 7/4 to be knocked down in rounds 1-3.
The value that catches my eye is Unibet’s round grouping in 7-9, where AJ is 7/2 to prevail. Ruiz is not a mainstream name, but those who watched him against Joshua Parker know that he has a ruthless gas tank. Don’t be fooled by his build, the Mexican has the capability to weather some of the early storm that will come crashing his way this Saturday night.
Joshua is likely to pay his opponent some respect and I would be surprised to see an early round stoppage. Just like against Dominic Breazeale and Alexander Povetkin, AJ could adopt a gameplan that aims to ware Ruiz down before upping the antics after the half-way point. This bet covers you in three rounds where Joshua has prevailed before and at 7/2, it is one with big return.
Surely Wilder is Next?
If we are to go off the boxing betting odds, it will be a perfect debut for AJ in America. Should this be the case, what is next in store for the Brit? A blockbuster money event against the other heavyweight champion in a fight that every boxing fan in the world is demanding? No chance.
The highly anticipated clash between Joshua and Deontay Wilder looks to have hit another speed bump, as the latter has just announced a rematch against King Kong Ortiz. Cue the duck emojis underneath Wilder’s social posts. Admittedly, it does seem to be the American that is indeed ducking AJ, particularly given the timing of the announcement.
Joshua stated clearly that after Ruiz, his attention would be turned to Wilder. A unification fight between the belts has to happen at some point, and fans are losing their minds at the thought of not seeing both men step into the ring together.
If AJ wins on Saturday, we are expecting to see a future fight against Kubrat Pulev. Will the fans ever get the fights that they want? People will tune in on Saturday night, but it isn’t exactly an event that has them on the edge of their seats.
Here are the bookmakers offering the best boxing odds
As an experienced sports writer, Josh has been published across various different platforms, writing about his beloved club Manchester United and other footballing topics. He also covers a range of other sports, specialising in UFC and Formula One.