Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. That’s the approach Anthony Joshua has taken in preparation for his rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr. for the heavyweight championship Saturday night in Saudi Arabia.
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Fight 2019 Live
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On June 1, 2019, Ruiz was a 15/1 underdog when he dropped the previously unbeaten and seemingly invincible Joshua four times en route to a seventh-round TKO before a stunned crowd at Madison Square Garden.
It was the American debut for the 6-foot-6 Olympic champion from England, who had won the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight belts. But Ruiz ruined his welcome to U.S. soil by recovering from a third-round knockdown to drop Joshua twice in the third round and twice more in the seventh before the bout was stopped.
They meet again in a 15,000-seat outdoor arena in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh, where Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) gets his chance to regain his titles, and Ruiz (33-1, 22 KOs) looks to validate his Rocky-like victory. DAZN will live stream the bout exclusively in the United States with the main card starting at 12 p.m. ET and the main event at approximately 4 p.m.
“He came in the ring and did what he had to do as a challenger, so you have to give the man his credit and respect,” Joshua said recently. “Now I’m on the other side of the fence and I have to come in and do what I have to do. I don’t want to over complicate the situation.I’m just going to do what I did 22 times out of 23 fights where my blueprint
Ruiz’s triumph was the biggest upset in heavyweight boxing since Buster Douglas defeated Mike Tyson in 1990. Ruiz, of Imperial Valley, Calif., was a late replacement after Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller of Brooklyn tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Chubby and just over 6-foot, Ruiz seemed no match for the chiseled Joshua.
But Ruiz overwhelmed the Brit with hand speed and determination.
Joshua never recovered from the punch that dropped him the first time in the third round, a left-hand to the top of his head. Joshua was caught as he looked to finish Ruiz, who fought in desperation after being knocked down with a clean left hook earlier in the round.
“The punch that landed was a perfect punch from the gods,” Joshua said. “It landed in the right place at the right time when I was too trigger-happy, and that’s why I caught it. For him, it might have been something that he practiced. But for me, it’s something I should have defended and got through it. That’s why I call it a punch from the gods.”
Ruiz still think he’s the better fighter.
“I feel there’s no excuses,” he said. “Who knows what was going through his head? The main thing is he has an opportunity to get the belts back and I have the opportunity to prove that it wasn’t a lucky shot.” Watch Hero World Challenge:
Joshua, a 2/1 favorite, vowed not to make the same mistake he did in the first fight. He weighed in on Friday at 237.8 pounds, 10 pounds lighter than the first fight, while Ruiz (+175) was 15 pounds heavier at 283.7.