Negotiations for an immediate rematch of the biggest upset of 2019 between Andy Ruiz Jr and Anthony Joshua is already underway!
On June 1, the newly crowned WBO, WBA and IBF heavyweight world champion Andy “Destroyer” Ruiz Jr (33-1, 22 KO’s) achieved a lifelong dream and became boxing’s newest ‘Cinderella Man’ when he toppled former champion Anthony “AJ” Joshua (22-1, 21 KO’s). While many want to label this shift in power a ‘fluke,’ there is very little backing this claim. Ruiz Jr is a solid fighter who only has one controversial loss to Joseph Parker on his resume.
Other than his unconventional physique, the Destroyer has always maintained great stamina, a high work rate, fast hands and has proven to be a durable opponent. Not only this, his victory did not come as the result of some “lucky punch”. In fact, it was Ruiz who had to first peel himself off the canvas in the third round.
Later in that same period, the determined Mexican pugilist planted AJ on the floor twice. After being deposited on the ground two more times, many feel that Joshua quit on his feet in the seventh. Achieving four knockdowns while hammering your adversary into submission sounds like anything but a ‘gift’ or ‘fluke!’
Talk of a Rematch
As the initial excitement begins subsiding a bit, talk of a rematch is now making its way to the forefront. Of course, Joshua and his promoter, Eddie Hearn, would love for the rematch to take place in the UK. The fight between Joshua and Ruiz took place at the legendary Madison Square Garden in New York City, while marking AJ’s first professional fight outside of his UK backyard. There is popular belief that being away from home played a tremendous role in the defeat.
There is no question though, AJ would greatly benefit from returning to his native comfort zone. However, will that happen? Eddie Hearn himself has said he’d be delighted if the rematch would take place in the UK. Although, there does not appear to be anything concretely mandating that this happen.
“We didn’t know what was coming next in November, December. Now we do. But there’s a lot of pressure on that fight, the rematch is huge. For me, it should be in the UK, but we’ll sit down as a team and look at everything.”
~Eddie Hearn – Matchroom Promotions
Given this statement, the matter appears to still be in the air. On the other side of the negotiation table, Andy Ruiz Jr has expressed very little desire to go to the UK for the do-over. Naturally, being the first Mexican heavyweight champion in the history of the sport, Ruiz would enjoy a showdown in Mexico.
“I’d love to be in Mexico. There’s never been a heavyweight champion in Mexico so I’d love to have a rematch there. But like I said, I have to talk to my team and we’ll figure all that out.”
~Andy Ruiz Jr – Unified Heavyweight Champion
Even though their in-ring fighting has subsided for the moment, Team Ruiz and Team Joshua must resume the battle at the negotiation table!
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By: Bakari Simpson