By: Hans Themistode
Heavyweight contender Andy Ruiz Jr (32-1, 21 KOs) is taking on the biggest challenge of his career. On Saturday night June 1st, he’ll be challenging unified Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs). The contest is slated to take place at the famed Madison Square Garden Arena.
Since coming up short in his first bid for a world title back in 2016 against Joseph Parker, Ruiz has reeled off three straight victories. He will be a huge underdog going up against Joshua, but he shouldn’t be counted out.
What exactly can he do to become the first Mexican Heavyweight champion? Keep reading to find out.
Push The Pace
Anthony Joshua is shaped more like a body builder rather than a prize fighter. Although his physique is impressive, he has had stamina issues in the past. Ruiz should look to test the champion in that regard. Set an incredibly fast pace by moving forward and making Joshua work.
The danger in this strategy is that he could set himself up for big shots coming his way from the champion. If Ruiz can set a face pace and push the champion towards the later rounds, he could very well be on his way to a major upset.
Work On The Inside
Ruiz will be giving up a four inch height advantage to go along with a staggering eight inch reach advantage as well. Boxing on the outside may not be a good idea. Sure he has plenty of skills but facing so many disadvantages from a physical standpoint, could lead to his downfall.
Instead, Ruiz needs to bully his way inside. For as big and strong as Joshua is, he doesn’t have the most impressive inside game. If Ruiz can find a way to get inside and rough up the champion without taking too much punishment coming in, he should be able to do some great work on the inside.
Let Your Hands Go
Andy Ruiz knows exactly what he is getting himself into. He isn’t expected to win, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t. Joshua has shown to be a bit vulnerable when his opponents have landed big shots. Ruiz has more than respectable power. He also has fast hands as well.
Joshua is defensively responsible but he has been clipped on more than one occasion. It’s a tough ask of Ruiz to simply outbox Joshua. Ruiz should throw caution to the wind and simply go for it. Of course it’s much easier said than done, considering that Joshua is such a massive puncher but if Ruiz intends on shocking the world, he will need to take a few monumental risk along the way.