Is Anthony Joshua Headed Towards Another Loss To Andy Ruiz?
By: Hans Themistode
No matter how much we try to avoid it, defeat is inevitable. It’s a painful feeling. Whether it’s a game of ping pong, basketball, video games or in this case boxing, it is a feeling that no one wants to go through. As much as we hate it, defeat is necessary. It allows us all to become better.
Could Floyd Mayweather have gone on to have a career that consisted of 50 wins without a single defeat had he won gold in the olympics? The bronze medal he brung home fueled him to never lose again. How about Muhammad Ali? His losses to Joe Frazier, Ken Norton and Leon Spinks allowed him to dig deep and prove that when he gets knocked down, he can just as easily get back up.
When former unified Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua lost his titles to Andy Ruiz via seventh round stoppage, it was completely jaw dropping. Immediately following the fight, Joshua said all of the right things.
“No excuses,” said Joshua during his post fight interview. “The better man won, this is Andy’s night. I simply got beat.”
Humility and poise are the traits that Joshua showed that night. It may have been devastating to lose in his debut across the pond but he showed great character in admitting his defeat and taking nothing away from his opponent. Like the other great champions that came before him, Joshua seemed destined to learn from his defeat and place the loss on his own shoulders.
Now that the rematch between Ruiz and Joshua has officially been signed and set for December 7th in Saudi Arabia, the former champion is now singing a completely different tune.
“It was a punch from the Gods,” said Joshua when describing the blow that began his downward spiral in their first encounter. “Andy is the same person. He will come game and I’ve got to change some of my bibs and bobs.”
To Joshua, that famed punch which came in the third round, was something that should have never connected in the first place. It isn’t just that single punch which Joshua believe was some what lucky, but he also believes that the referee didn’t quite give him a fair shake.
“So, the mouthpiece comes out, you go to the corner,” Joshua explained before a press conference in Manhattan to promote their rematch December 7 in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. “You know, I think the referee had already done his [eight] count. So, I’m in the corner now and then they put the mouthguard in. Or you rinse it, and they say, ‘Are you ready to fight?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ So, before my mouthpiece was even in my mouth, he had called off the fight. So, I’m like looking at him. ‘You haven’t even put my mouthpiece in? What you want me to do? Yeah, I’m ready,’ and walk out without my mouthpiece in. So, me and him had a miscommunication.”
Let’s not take anything away from Joshua. He has proven to be a great fighter thoroughout his career. He has also proven that he can deal with adversity and rise from it.
With that being said however, things feel a little bit different don’t they? ‘A punch from the Gods,” and “miscommunication” with the referee might all be true but in order for him to win this rematch he must look himself in the mirror, because if he doesn’t, he could be headed toward yet another defeat.
Does Anthony Joshua Really Believe Andy Ruiz is The Best Out There?
By: Hans Themistode
Before Anthony Joshua was defeated by Andy Ruiz on June 1st, at Madison Square Garden, he was the consensus best Heavyweight on the planet. With a gold medal around his neck and three titles around his waist, it wasn’t hard to see why. Joshua had the goods.
Now that he has tasted defeat for the first time in his career, other big name Heavyweights have moved ahead of him, at least in the eyes of the public. WBC belt holder Deontay Wilder and Lineal champion Tyson Fury are the first two that come to mind.
They are after all, undefeated and have mowed down the competition. Whether its Fury or Wilder is a matter of preference. There is no doubt that they are the best in the division. That might be the overwhelming sentiment shared by many in the sport, but don’t count Joshua amongst those believe those words. He doesn’t believe that he is the best either. Instead, he believes his December 7th, in Saudi Arabia, Andy Ruiz is the best man at this current moment.
“We can’t overlook Andy and his talent and his success in the ring as I’m fighting the best out there right now,” said Joshua. “In my opinion Andy Ruiz is the best heavyweight out there.”
Ruiz is a terrific fighter and has been for a long time. Before his upset of Joshua he was given no chance in that contest. Since then he has seen his stock rise and his popularity soar, but is he truly the best fighter in the division?
The new unified champion has been underrated his entire career. As an amateur he won 105 of his 110 fights. As a pro he won his first 29 contest until he lost a close and some what disputed decision against Joseph Parker in his first crack at a world title. He would go on to win his next three fights in a row before ultimately unseating Joshua.
Even with the skills that Ruiz possesses, no one outside of Joshua would consider him the best Heavyweight in the division. Wilder would seemingly land something concussive while Fury could box circles around him. That isn’t to say that Ruiz couldn’t win either of those fights because he could but it also seems unlikely.
So what was the thought process behind the words spouted by Joshua? That’s simple. It wasn’t hyperbole nor was it a way for Ruiz to let his guard down.
Joshua viewed himself as the best Heavyweight fighter before losing to Ruiz. No one, not even Klitschko gave him a more difficult contest than Ruiz. The former champion is simply acknowledging the greatness of his opponent.
It may not seem true to anyone else but to Joshua he certainly does believe that Andy Ruiz is the best fighter in the Heavyweight division.
Anthony Joshua: “Quitting Isn’t In My DNA”
By: Hans Themistode
He’s done. It’s over. He’ll never be the same.
Words that have been spewed in the direction of Anthony Joshua over and over again.
Since Joshua lost his titles at the hands of Andy Ruiz on June 1st, at Madison Square Garden, it’s all Joshua has heard. Just prior to his contest against Ruiz, it was the total opposite. The Heavyweight division has great fighters such as WBC champion Deontay Wilder and Lineal champ Tyson Fury to name a few, but none of those fighters were held with higher regard.
Joshua had it all. Big wins over Dillian Whyte, Carlos Takam, Wladimir Klitschko, Joseph Parker and Alexander Povetkin. He also has the pedigree in winning an olympic gold medal in the 2012 olympics. An endorsement deal by Under Armor also allowed Joshua to become a household name around the world.
His June 1st matchup against Ruiz was nothing more than a formality, a layup, just another win in the column. Instead, it turned into the worse night of his career. Joshua wasn’t just beaten, he was beatdown. All who were praising him are now against him. The December 7th, rematch which is slated to take place in Saudi Arabia, is his chance for redemption, but many aren’t believing in his chances.
Hanging up the gloves has been advised for Joshua. In other words, Joshua should quit.
There’s only one problem with that sentiment. It’s not in his DNA.
“I faced defeat in my third fight as an amateur. Imagine if I stopped then, there would be no now,” said Joshua. “I lost in the European quarterfinals, imagine if I stopped then, there would be no now. I lost in the world championship finals, imagined if I stopped then, there would be no now. Stopping isn’t in my DNA.
The thought of losing his titles doesn’t sit well with Joshua. Not because he can’t accept his defeat. It’s more so because of what the word “lost” implies.
“To lose something means you will not get it back. I believe I will get my titles back on December 7th.”
The belief that Joshua is done should be shelved. At just 29 years of age he should be entering the prime of his career. As unfair as it may seem, the result of this contest will dictate how the rest of Joshua’s career is viewed. Make no mistake about it, he is facing an enormous amount of pressure. Throughout his career he’s been able to deal with the high expectations placed upon him, but this will be like nothing he has ever dealt with.
Even with the the plethora of great names that are plastered across his resume, Joshua’s career is riding on his December 7th, contest against Ruiz. How this contest will play out is anyones guess but for those who believe Joshua will simply crumble and quit underneath the pressure will be mistaken.
DAZN To Live Stream Ruiz-Joshua 2 In U.S.
By: Sean Crose
Andy Ruiz stunned the world on June 1st when he bested heavyweight kingpin Anthony Joshua at Madison Square Garden in a bout that was streamed live in America on the DAZN streaming service. Now, it’s been announced that DAZN will be exclusively streaming the rematch between the two heavyweights, which will go down in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia on December 7th. “Their first fight captured the world’s attention and once again illustrated that you never know what will happen when two heavyweight boxers enter a ring,” Joseph Markowski, DAZN EVP, North America, claims. “Ruiz vs. Joshua II is by far the most-anticipated rematch in recent memory and adds to DAZN’s year-end schedule, which will be the best stretch of boxing that fans have seen in years.”
Mathroom Boxing honcho Eddie Hearn, who is promoting Ruiz-Joshua 2, is eager to sing the praises of a DAZN broadcast: “June 1, 2019 was a day that will be forever etched in boxing history,” he says. “Andy Ruiz caused one of the great boxing upsets of all time when him and Anthony Joshua engaged in an epic battle in front of a sold-out MSG. The noise about the rematch has been deafening: Will it happen? Where will it be? Who will win? Step up the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who will now host one of the biggest and most iconic boxing events of our generation. Held at a 16,000-person purpose built stadium that will stand within the UNESCO heritage site in Diriyah, ‘Clash on the Dunes’ will follow in the footsteps of the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ and ‘Thrilla in Manila.’ The whole world will stop to watch this fight and sports fans across America will get the chance to watch it all unfold live on DAZN.”
DAZN launched in the US roughly a year ago, and has it made it a point to become a true force in the boxing landscape. Not only has the service teamed up with Joshua, it’s also teamed with Canelo Alvarez, unquestionably the most lucrative active boxer on the planet at the moment. Add in names like Gennady Golovkin, Billy Joe Saunders, Demetrius Andrade, and others, and it becomes clear that DAZN has been willing to put its money where its mouth is (such talent, especially on the level of Joshua, Canelo, and Golovkin, doesn’t come cheap). Ruiz’ shocking upset of Joshua last spring, however, took some luster off of one DAZN’s biggest names.
With that in mind, the Ruiz upset has made for a very intriguing rematch, one which is happening quite quickly after the original fight, if modern day standards are to be applied. At the moment, Ruiz-Josha 2 may be the biggest event in the sport. That means a lot of eyeballs are apt to be focused on DAZN December 7th. Should Joshua win, there’s a good chance for other major heavyweight bouts to appear on the streaming service. Should Joshua lose again, however, it might be a big loss for DAZN, for Ruiz is aligned with Al Haymon, who generally does business with Fox and Showtime. WBC heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder also fights under Haymon’s stable, while Tyson Fury, the division’s other big name, is entrenched with promoter Bob Arum and ESPN.
First Press Conference For Ruiz-Joshua 2 Goes Down in Saudi Arabia
By: Sean Crose
“There’s Las Vegas,” Matchroom Boxing honcho Eddie Hearn said on Wednesday. “There’s New York. There’s London. No. There’s a whole world out there. And now there’s Saudi Arabia for boxing. This is such a monumental opportunity for our sport.” Hearn was speaking at a table that stood before a unique looking (at least to western boxing fans) sand colored stone wall. On either side of him was WBA, IBF, and WBO heavyweight champion of the world, Andy Ruiz Jr, and the man who Ruiz won those titles from last June, Anthony Joshua. These men were in Saudi Arabia, gathered, of course, to announce Ruiz-Joshua 2, the unexpected fight of the year, which will go down live at a specially designed Saudi stadium on December 7th.
“I never thought I’d be fighting outside of London or outside of America,” said Joshua, “so its a blessing and I’m happy to be here.” Always the good sport, Joshua claimed that “Andy’s champion right now,” but added “that will last until December the seventh.” Joshua spoke pleasantly enough, but there was an intensity his eyes during the event that was hard not to notice. “I’m really looking forward to the challenge,” he said. “We’re going to have a really good night of boxing, and that’s what we’re here for.” Ruiz may not have much in common with the man he won his titles from, but, like Joshua, he pushes the trash talk aside.
“June first I made my dreams come true,” he said. “I know Anthony Joshua is coming hard. He’s going to come strong. I know he’s going to be preparing really good…but so am I.” The California based fighter then went on to make a prediction. “I’m going to win here in the same fashion, the same way I won June 1st, and I’m going to prove everybody wrong.” After stunning the world by besting Joshua late last spring, Ruiz has seen his heart and dedication be questioned thanks to whispers that he has been too busy living the good life instead of being focused on his craft. “The hunger still remains,” he countered on Wednesday. “I don’t want it to be a fifteen minute thing, you know?”
Although Ruiz’ victory over Joshua may have ruined the plans the English fighter and his promoter may have had for super fights with Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, Hearn was clearly setting out to make lemons out of lemonade on Wednesday. “On June the first, at a sold out Madison Square Garden, we witnessed one of the great heavyweight upsets of all time,” he said. “On December the seventh in Diriya, we do it again. For your entertainment in a purpose built arena, open air, 16,000 people.”
“It’s just going to be an exciting fight,” Ruiz claimed, “helluva fight, two big heavyweights punching each other in the face. It’s going to be exciting.”
Fury Weighs In On Ruiz-Joshua Rematch
By: Sean Crose
Tyson Fury, a man who has never been known for having a loss for words, has been weighing in on the rematch between Andy Ruiz and Anthony Joshua, which is scheduled to go down December 7th in Saudi Arabia. According to Business Insider, Fury feels Ruiz might be walking into the ring with an edge due to the fact that he’s based in California. “If anything,” Fury is quoted as saying about the match’s unique location, “Andy Ruiz might be more used to the heat because he’s Mexican and lives in California. It’s always hot there whereas Joshua lives in London and it’s not always hot there.”
Ruiz stunned the world last June in New York City when he stopped Joshua at Madison Square Garden. The bout was essentially seen as being nothing more than a tune up for the then undefeated Joshua. Ruiz, who was chosen to fill in for Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller after Miller had tested positive for a banned substance and dropped out of the fight, faced Joshua having had only a few weeks to train. Ruiz’ underrated skill set and determination allowed the Californian to shock the world, however, and to leave the Garden that night with Joshua’s numerous title belts in his possession.
The rematch between Ruiz and Joshua is of keen interest to Fury, of course, as the heavyweight division is stocked with fighters who are now positioning themselves to be king of the divisional hill. Fury, who many feel is still lineal champ, since he bested Waldimir Klitschko in 2015, fought WBC titlist Deontay Wilder to a highly memorable draw last December. He and Wilder are said to be rematching in February. It’s a situation where each of the four men involved – Joshua, Ruiz, Wilder, and Fury – hope to stand alone as the unquestioned heavyweight champion of the world when the dust finally settles.
Fury appears to at least suspect that Joshua will once again be bested by Ruiz. “He’s already been knocked out,” Fury said of Joshua to Business Insider, “so that favors Ruiz. I think fighting fire with fire with someone who is quicker than you and puts better shots together is a disaster.” Fury, who is famous for trying to get inside other fighter’s heads, may simply be engaging in psychological warfare. On the other hand, he may be quite serious in saying he feels Ruiz has the edge heading into December 7th.
“I don’t really see the fight going any differently,” he said, “unless AJ comes out and boxes on his toes, which we know he can’t do.” Although he’s known for a great deal of trash talk, Fury has made it clear that Joshua shouldn’t be entirely written off by fight fans. “Why should he be criticized or why should anybody go off him a bit more because he just lost a fight?” Fury asked Business Insider. “Everybody will lose a fight. Muhammad Ali lost fights, Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, everybody.”
Anthony Yarde’s Time is Coming
By: Hans Themistode
28 year old Anthony Yarde isn’t well known. The very few that do, have little appreciation for his skill. His heart? He doesn’t have any of that either. In short, he is a man that looks as though he should be a body builder instead of a boxer.
Going into his contest against WBO Light Heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev, Yarde was viewed as nothing more than a tune up fight. The entire boxing world knew what would happen. Yarde would get brutally stopped in the first or second round and send us all to a Sergey Kovalev vs Canelo Alvarez matchup.
Who could blame those that had this notion? Yarde had just 18 pro bouts under his belt before he fought Kovalev. He also fought absolutely no one of note. Actually, not a single fighter he fought was in the top 15 of any sanctioning body.
Having such few fights and challenging for a world title isn’t the most absurd thing in the world. Pound for pound star Vasyl Lomachenko fought for a world title in just his second pro fight. It took Oleksandr Usyk only 10 contest before he got his crack at a title.
Still, for Yarde his circumstances were completely different. Lomachenko is considered the best amateur of all-time. Winning two gold medals and possessing an amateur record of 396-1. Absurd to say the least.
Usyk competed in 350 amateur contest, winning 335 of them. Along the way he won numerous amateur titles. In short, both of these men were so accomplished in the amateur ranks that a slow pace in the pro’s were not needed.
Yarde’s experience before turning pro pale’s in comparison as he had just 12 amateur contest. It looked as though Yarde was biting off more than he could chew. As the contest took place however, he proved his naysayers wrong.
You’ve seen it by now. Kovalev landing a left hand jab which drops Yarde in the 11th round. A shot he could not recover from. What preceded that shot however was eye opening. Yarde was beating the long time champion to the punch in the early rounds. Showing that he had the speed advantage and the defensive ability to stay out of the way of Kovalev’s attacks.
Although he had success early on, Kovalev found his mark and began to land big shots on Yarde. At this point it’s easy for an unproven contender, fighting in the hometown of the champion to simply pack it in and accept his defeat. That doesn’t apply to Yarde.
Trailing on the scorecards going into the eighth round, Yarde through everything he had at Kovalev. It almost worked. He landed shot after shot which left Kovalev staggering around the ring. If Yarde simply had more time in the round he could have possibly done it.
The rest of the fight saw Yarde still give it his all, but he was completely worn out. Still he did not quit. Instead, he went out on his shield.
Losses are devastating in the sport of boxing. It can send a fighter down the rankings and leave a sour taste in the mouths of fans who witness the defeat.
For Yarde, his stock won’t plummet with this defeat, instead it will soar. At just 28 years of age and only 19 pro contest to go along with 12 as an amateur, Yarde has shown that he can compete with the elite in the division. Yarde said all the right things following his defeat.
“I’m going to go back to the drawing board and work on some technical things,” said Yarde during his post fight interview. “I’m going to work even harder.”
Kovalev, who isn’t known for complimenting his opposition, heaped immense praise on Yarde.
“He has a great a future, he is very good. Believe me he will be a champion, 100 percent.”
The Light Heavyweight division has officially been put on notice. Anthony Yarde may have came up short in his bid to become a world champion but, all signs point to him coming back stronger and better than ever.
Kovalev Stops Yarde in the 11th in Russia
By: William Holmes
Sergey Kovalev (33-3-1) defended his WBO Light Heavyweight Title against Anthony Yarde (18-0) in his hometown of Chelyabinsk, Russia on ESPN+.
Top Rank Promotions has teamed up with Main Event Promotions to televise this card on ESPN+. The undercard featured a thrilling majority decision win by Illunga Makabu over the very game Aleksei Papin.
Fight fans were expecting a knockout in this fight, as a young challenger that had stopped every opponent but one and was facing a champion already known for his devastating power. This event was sold out with an announced attendance of 7,500.
Yarde entered the ring first to a muted pop, while Kovalev entered second and was warmly greeted by the crowd. Kovalev had Buddy McGirt in his corner.
The openin round was a little slow, but both boxers appeared to be in good shape and were gauging their distance with jabs and check left hooks. Yarde had some success with his counter left hooks, but neither had any notable offense.
Kovalev began to land his jabs at a higher rate in the second and third rounds, but didn’t have Yarde hurt at any point. Kovalev had a strong fourth round and was landing some power punches and began to wake up the crowd.
Kovalev’s jabs were snapping the head of Yarde in the fifth round, and had outlanded him 42 to 14 jabs by this point. Kovalev continued to walk down Yarde in the sixth round, who at one point spit out his mouthpiece as he was visibly tiring.
Yarde was able to land a few good shots in the sixth and seventh rounds, but he opened himself up to Kovalev’s more accurate counter punches whenever he opened up and took a risk. Yarde’s body work did appear to hurt Kovalev in the seventh round.
Yarde pressed forward in the eighth round and was landing to the body and head of Kovalev. Kovalev was warned by the referee to stop pushing with his elbow, and both boxers landed good punches during some fierce exchanges. However, Yarde appeared to be comfortable with handling the power of Kovalev and had him hurt bad with a hard right hand. Kovalev was back peddling for the remainder of the round and struggled to stay up, but was able to survive the round.
Kovalev was badly hurt in the eighth, but came back strong in the ninth round with accurate combinations in the middle of the ring that swung momentum back in his favor.
Kovalev pummeled Yarde from ring post to ring post in the tenth round and had Yarde covering up most of the time. Yarde likely needed a stoppage in the final two rounds to win the fight, and he went after Kovalev to try to get that win. But a vicious straight left jab from Kovalev sent Yarde crashing to the mat and unable to get up to his feet.
Sergey Kovalev wins by TKO at 2:04 of the eleventh round.
Don’t Count Out Anthony Yarde
By: Hans Themistode
The showdown between WBO Light Heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev and three division champion Canelo Alvarez is sure to be a good one. That contest will take place sometime in either November or December in Las Vegas, Nevada of this year.
It’s a contest that is sure to be a fight of the year candidate.
A can’t miss fight.
An all action scrap.
These are the headlines that have flooded the internet over the past few weeks.
Everyone seems to have forgotten about Anthony Yarde (18-0, 17 Kos). The unbeaten British born fighter who Kovalev must defeat, in his hometown of Russia.
Yarde has been dismissed by many, if not all. It’s for good reason. Up to this point, Yarde has faced no one even remotely close to the level he will be facing on Saturday night. It will be a huge step up for Yarde. Standing across the ring from the WBO Light Heavyweight champion will be unlike no other challenge he has ever faced.
To the credit of Yarde, he has looked good in his 18 professional bouts. Some would even say great. However, going from bottom tier to the upper echelon of the division is not an ideal situation.
It isn’t just the fans and media alike that have given Yarde no chance in this contest, but so has his contemporaries.
Former pound for pound star and Sergey Kovalev conquerer Andre Ward, believes that Yarde possesses the skill but ultimately will fall in his quest to become a world champion.
“I see him stopping Yarde late,” said Ward. “Yarde hasn’t showed up until this point that he can handle a guy like Kovalev.”
Yarde has heard all of his naysayers and critics but his confidence has not waned in the slightest.
“I’m just focused on myself. Be the best I can be and get the knockout victory,” said Yarde.
The ability to stop his opponents has been well established throughout his career as he currently holds a 94 percent knockout ratio. Kovalev, in his three career losses, has been stopped in two of them. So what does this mean exactly?
Yarde has a blueprint in which he can follow in order to get the job done.
Still, even with his impressive physique and under rated boxing skills. Yarde isn’t expected to do much of anything.
Rumors of the contract between Kovalev and Canelo have already been signed. The only thing left is the dispatching of Yarde.
Britains, Yarde has a chance to upset the applecart. A win for him would flip the boxing world on its head, but no one wants that. Canelo vs Kovalev is a mouth watering matchup. One that everyone wants to see.
One final test for Kovalev remains. Yarde.
For those who have fantasized about Sergey Kovalev taking on Mexico’s Canelo Alvarez may never see that contest come to fruition.
Anthony Yarde has more than enough skill to put an end to that dream, once and for all.
Anthony Joshua Trashes Lennox Lewis In Interview
By: Sean Crose
“Lennox is a clown. I don’t respect Lennox.”
The Lennox being mentioned above is none other than former undisputed, and all time great, heavyweight champion of the world, Lennox Lewis. The man speaking poorly of Lewis is none other than Anthony Joshua, Lewis’ fellow Englishman and former heavyweight kingpin. Joshua was being interviewed by Sky Sports when the subject of Lewis came up. His response seemed to catch Anna Woolhouse, who was conducting the interview, off guard.
“So am I,” Joshua responded when Woolhouse countered that Lewis had built himself quite a legacy. “It’s nothing compared to what Lennox is doing,” Joshua continued. “Nothing. Me and Lennox aren’t the same. My legacy is to sit back and enjoy the younger generation coming up. And not to really be involved, just appreciate what it takes to get there. Lennox is a liar. Me and Lennox are cut from a different cloth.”
Lewis himself responded to Joshua’s words in a tone that was less combative.
“Disappointed in AJ’s words,” Lewis tweeted, “but I understand that this ‘jealousy’ narrative was only fabricated AFTER I criticized them for Wilder negotiations. All of the sudden I’m a hater.” Lewis then went on to suggest that Joshua wasn’t the one behind the controversy. “Ask who benefits,” he wrote, “from such a simple minded narrative. Not AJ. Not me.” Clearly, the indication was that Joshua’s team was behind it all.
“I don’t blame AJ as much,” Lewis tweeted later, “as I blame the ppl around him that stoke the fires. I have remained at an arms distance from AJ to respect that he wants to make his own way. I’m sure he also gets sick of the constant comparisons to me over his entire career.” Lewis stated the reason there is an issue to begin with is because he felt team Joshua didn’t do enough to make a fight with Deontay Wilder before Joshua was stunned by Andy Ruiz last June at Madison Square Garden.
Yahoo’s Kevin Iole has stated that “Joshua’s comments toward Lewis are out of character, as he’s always carried himself professionally.” Joshua, however, has unquestionably been under a considerable amount of stress since losing to Ruiz, who most people simply saw as a tune up for the man on the road to major bouts against Deontay Wilder and/or Tyson Fury. Now that the express train has gone off the rails (at least temporarily), one could only expect Joshua to not be his best (at least until if or when he were to best Ruiz in a rematch).
Speaking of Ruiz, the toast of the heavyweight division is reportedly unhappy that the scheduled December 7th rematch between he and Joshua is set to go down in Saudi Arabia…something else that may lead to Joshua not being in prime form. No matter. Many are taking to their keyboards to claim it’s disrespectful for Joshua to go after Lewis – who has never seemed to have particularly sharp words for anyone since retiring from the sport ages ago.
Appearing willing to let bygones be bygones, Lewis offered the following tweet:
“AJ has my number if he ever wants to clarify what is being said in the media or show me where I’m wrong about something. My doors remain open to him, but just know that disrespect is not answer to his frustrations. Gotta go catch a flight now. Bless!”
Anthony Yarde: In Need of a Lion’s Performance
By: Oliver McManus
Bracing conditions await for the cool cat that prowls around Peacock Gym as Anthony Yarde steps out of the cage for the first time in his professional career; the light-heavyweight enters the lion’s den of Chelyabinsk to face, WBO champion, Sergey Kovalev. A daunting task from the outset and matters were further thrown into flux when Kovalev was touted to face Canelo and Yarde was made a hefty ‘step-aside’ offer.
Despite all those hypothetical complications the fight does now go ahead – having been unofficially announced and then cancelled back in June – following a protracted game of cat and mouse with a healthy side dish of boxing politics. On August 24th, then, the fight goes ahead and British fight fans finally get the opportunity to test the hype and hyperbole surrounding Anthony Yarde.
Frank Warren’s prized prospect has lived a privileged life since entering the professional ranks in 2015 with soft touches offered throughout his development. Of course that’s an understandable element within boxing and, despite the, often, shrugged and shrouded defense of the opponents, Yarde marauded his way past them with villainous intent. His bout with Chris Hobbs was an early indication of the spite that Yarde possess – Hobbs pasted for four rounds, dropped on six occasions.
Since that peak in 2017 – five fights and a, genuinely, impressive win over Nikola Sjekloca – that saw him first climb the world rankings there has been increasing disdain for the maneuvering of Tunde Ajayi’s charge. Repeatedly he has been pitted against underwhelming opposition that were sold as genuine challenges to his ‘unrivalled supremacy’ – the latter a tad bit of creative license. Dariusz Sek was a real lowlight with him heralded as more than acceptable on the grounds he would be the first southpaw of Anthony Yarde’s career.
Consistently juxtaposing his lack of experience – did you know Yarde only had 12 amateur contests – as a reason for not taking serious step-ups (Sullivan Barrera has been continually vocal in his desire to fight Yarde) whilst commandeering his WBO ranking to justify stepping past domestic level is an isolationist tactic. It is, admittedly, very clever as it has allowed Yarde to take no damage, in terms of in the ring, whilst constantly chipping his way closer to Krusher. ‘WBO Champion of the World’ has always been the stated aim and desire so, in that respect, he has been maneuvered perfectly but that stops on August 24th. From thereon in it isn’t a matter of what strings Warren can pull – it comes down to boxing ability.
The kid can box, let’s be honest, there can be no denying his explosivity and heavy handedness but it’s learning how and when to use that has often resulted in a lacklustre end product. Boxing is a bloodsport with an aversion to blood – no-one wants to see a fighter seriously injured – but the tippy-tappy style of Yarde as he patiently repeats pad-work round after round is hard to become infatuated with. We’ve seen before what can happen when the clinical spark kicks in and he looks to close a fight – there is no feasible counter to that relentless, bombarding aggression.
Now he’s chucked in with a livewire there is minimal margin for error and that patience and diligence will be tested to maximum resistance; should there be any momentary lapses in concentration then Kovalev can, and will, exploit them. If he’s even half as good as the incredible, charismatic, belief of Ajayi suggests then he’s on the right path but words have got to turn into actions sooner rather than later.
You have to afford him a reasonable degree of respect and admiration for flying out to Russia – to a venue closer to Beijing than Canning Town – in full knowledge that he is a heavy, heavy underdog. Far too often we see fights avoided or hampered by squabbles over the proposed location and Russia is, perhaps, the most politicized of venues; you only need to nod towards Lucas Browne for an example of alleged skullduggery on Russian soil. But Yarde is brushing that to one side and rightly considering it yet another factor that would make a victory for him all the more remarkable. When you add up all the common variables then logic suggests Kovalev retains his title. But boxing isn’t about logic or maths – otherwise Compubox would be the official scoring system and BoxRec our official ratings – it is always about the two fighters in the ring – both at its purest and in a human, macro sense of it.
Anthony Yarde has surrounded himself with like-minded people that are consumed in the belief that he is the real deal and, naturally, that rubs off on a performance. It seems to me that for his whole career he has been regarded as a tabby cat in lion’s clothing, feasting on vegetarian scraps, but he goes to Russia with a lamb-chop in his sight. It is feeding time and Anthony Yarde has a ravenous hunger for success.
Is Andy Ruiz vs Anthony Joshua 2 Really Happening?
By: Hans Themistode
With so many conflicting reports coming out of both camps regarding the rematch between Anthony Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) and Andy Ruiz (33-1, 22 KOs), what exactly should boxing fans believe?
Let’s start at the beginning.
When negotiations began, many believed that the United States and the United Kingdom were only two destinations in play. There was a bit of noise in terms of bringing the fight to Ruiz homeland of Mexico, but that never really picked up steam.
The rematch seemed destined to take place at either Wembley Stadium or back at Madison Square Garden. It came to the shock of everyone that Saudi Arabia was chosen as the destination. It was clear to see that money was the driving factor behind the rematch taking place half way across the world.
The contest may not be taking place in where many believed it should but, nevertheless, fans had the fight they wanted signed, booked and delivered. At least, that is what they thought.
Andy Ruiz vs Anthony Joshua 2, is the biggest fight of the year. Yet, both fighters were mum on the subject on their social media platforms. Things became even more confusing when a press conference was held in the U.K with both fighters absent from the event. Can you remember the last time a mega fight was announced without either participant at the actual conference?
I can’t either.
Although Saudi Arabia is an odd place for the rematch to take place, that does not seem to be the biggest issue. Like many negotiations, money seems to be the sticking point that is fueling Ruiz.
According to several reports, Ruiz originally signed a rematch clause in his first bout with Joshua which promised him nine million should there be a rematch. A figure that seems far too low for a fighter of his current stature.
Just recently Ruiz broke his silence and indicated to his fans that the rematch would take place but more so on his terms, not Joshua’s.
“The fight is going to happen soon,” said Ruiz during his instagram live. “We are going to make the fight happen but the fight is going to happen on my terms and we’re going to bring it back to the United States. Joshua is scared, that’s why he is trying to make the fight in Arabia. I don’t have any protection over there.”
If you are a fan of boxing, just what exactly should you believe at this point? That is a difficult question to answer. The fight will certainly happen this year. It is the biggest fight that can be made in the entire sport. Just exactly where it will take place however, seems to still be up in the air.
Eddie Hearn: Ruiz-Joshua 2 Can Change Boxing Forever
By: Sean Crose
Strangely enough, neither man was there. In a press conference to officially announce the highly anticipated rematch between former heavyweight kingpin Anthony Joshua, and the man who stunned the world by besting him, Andy Ruiz, promoter Eddie Hearn did his best to hype the impending bout. With neither Joshua or Ruiz present, however, it proved to be an off seeming affair. Ruiz-Joshua 2 is scheduled to go down on December 7th in Saudi Arabia, though word is making the rounds that Ruiz is unhappy with the arrangement. Still, Hearn spoke in detail about the Saudi Arabia location for the match.
“For us,” said Hearn, “we really wanted to go somewhere where they believed in the sport of boxing and they had a vision.” The promoter went on to praise Saudi Arabia as a qualified host country. “I was lucky enough to attend the World Boxing Super Series,” Hearn continued. “It was a fantastic event, not just for the logistical setup but because of the vibrancy of the crowd, the interest in the sport of boxing. And of course, recently they staged another fight with Amir Khan.”
Ruiz shocked not only the boxing world, but the entire sports world when he essentially beat up Joshua last June in Joshua’s American debut. The Madison Square Garden hosted bout was supposed to be Joshua’s introduction to the American public. Ruiz was essentially a last minute replacement opponent for Joshua after Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller had to drop out due to positive drug tests. In other words, not much was expected of the Mexican-American slugger. To claim Ruiz over-performed would be an overstatement. The heavyset challenger dropped Joshua numerous times before the bout was finally stopped in round seven.
Although he was stunned and thoroughly beaten, Joshua took the loss like a gentleman. The now 22-1 Englishman has also proven ready to redeem himself since the loss. With a rematch clause in place, it was essentially only a matter of where and when Joshua would face the now 33-1 Ruiz again. With a date and location set, Hearn was effusive Monday about the fight being scheduled in a unique location. Ever the salesman, the smooth promoter claimed that “this event can change boxing forever…You could be seeing a big change in the dynamics of the sport.” Hearn added that “with curiosity, the whole world will be watching this fight.”
While the fact that Ruiz-Joshua 2 is scheduled to go down in the middle east is now unarguably a major part of the story, it also brings with it a degree of controversy, something the media is already beginning to take note of. Saudi Arabia is widely seen as a nation ripe with human rights abuses, something that will no doubt continue to be noted as the countdown for the match begins. Whether the country’s reputation will keep fans from embracing Ruiz-Joshua 2 remains to be seen.
With The Rematch Official Can Anthony Joshua Win His Titles Back?
By: Hans Themistode
With Andy Ruiz vs Anthony Joshua 2, officially set to take place in Saudi Arabia on December 7th, the question now becomes two fold.
Can Joshua regain his titles? Or will Ruiz prove that the first win was no fluke?
These questions can be debated for months, but won’t be answered until fight night.
Let’s rewind to their first contest. June 1st, 2019 at Madison Square Garden. It was the first time that Joshua was fighting away from his British soil. Fighting in America was bound to happen, and Ruiz was seen as just an introduction to his new market.
Things started off great for Joshua, knocking down Ruiz in the third and looking as though he could force an early stoppage. Ruiz did not back down in the slightest. He floored Joshua twice in the very same round and two more times in the seventh before the referee officially waved off the contest. Many were surprised but, if you have followed Joshua throughout his career, then you would have seen him hurt on multiple occasions.
It wasn’t that Joshua got dropped, it was how he looked. Let’s not forget that the former unified champ was dropped in his 2017 contest against Wladimir Klitschko and hurt both against Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin. The only difference is that when Joshua has faced adversity, he has always raised his performance. This time around, he shrank underneath the pressure.
Former great champions such as Lennox Lewis has wondered out loud if Joshua can win his titles back. Lewis, who was the last undisputed Heavyweight world champion does not believe that it is a problem with Joshuas skill, but more so about what he has upstairs.
“It must be mental because he did not come into the ring looking like he usually looks,” said Lewis. “Joshua made it easy for Ruiz because he wasn’t fully there. If he was fully there it would probably be a different fight.”
Those sentiments spewed by Lewis, have been echoed by many in boxing circles. It isn’t to take anything away from Ruiz and the masterful job he did that night but, Joshua just seemed to be off his game.
Since losing his titles, Joshua has been adamant about winning them back. Giving full credit to Ruiz for defeating him but also insisting that he can and will win the rematch.
After several months of negotiations, we finally have the date and place. Joshua will have one more shot to prove to the world that he still is one of the very best in the Heavyweight division.
Many all-time great boxers have lost in devastating fashion. The aforementioned Lewis lost his titles to Hasim Rahman in what turned out to be one of the biggest upsets ever. Lewis righted that wrong by destroying Rahman in the immediate rematch. Now, it’s Joshuas turn to follow in the footsteps of his fellow British Heavyweight contemporary.
Another loss will mark the end of Joshuas reign amongst the elite of the division. With a win however, all will be forgiven and Joshua can reclaim his throne.
Ruiz-Joshua II To Go Down December 7th In Saudi Arabia
By: Sean Crose
The rematch to the biggest upset in years is set to go down December 7th. For on that day, in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, Anthony Joshua will be looking to regain the heavyweight titles he lost from Andy Ruiz via stunning knockout this past June. “Neutral grounds,” Joshua tweeted upon Friday’s announcement. “LETS GO – Dec 7th, time to be 2X – 258MGT .” DAZN USA also jumped into the fray, tweeting: “The Rematch is Confirmed. #RuizJoshua2.” The Saudi Arabian setting may seem odd, as the middle eastern nation certainly isn’t known as a boxing haven. As Joshua stated in his tweet, however, the rematch will most certainly be held on “neutral ground,” as the location for the match appeared to be in question right from the get-go.
As it stands, Ruiz-Joshua 2 will most likely be the biggest fight of 2019 (unless Canelo Alvarez and arch foil Gennady Golovkin somehow miraculously end up engaging in a third battle by year’s end). The first bout between Mexican-American Ruiz and England’s Joshua wasn’t seen walking in as being much more than a tuneup for the then-undefeated, muscle bound defending champ Joshua. Ruiz didn’t look like much of a fighting specimen, with his smiling face and generous midsection. In fact, many simply saw the bout, which went down at New York’s Madison Sqaure Garden, as a way for Joshua and promoter Eddie Hearn to test the American waters. It was Joshua’s first fight in the States, and – with huge bouts with Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury on the horizon – there was a desire to explore the European star’s popularity on the other side of the Atlantic.
Ruiz ended up giving Joshua the rudest welcome the man could have possibly imagined to American soil. After tasting the canvas himself, the Californian proved he was more than simply a stand in who had lost a decision to Joseph Parker. For Ruiz went on to put Joshua down several times himself, until the fight was rightly stopped in the 7th. The defeated Joshua appeared to be out of it at the moment he lost his titles, his head concussed by Ruiz’ powerful and quick punches. Yet if Joshua and Hearn were stunned, the boxing world was shocked, as well. Although well regarded, Ruiz was never seen as much of a threat to any of the major players in the reinvigorated heavyweight division. Now he holds three of the four major titles, and will be entering the biggest heavyweight title matchup in years.
Although the rematch was virtually guaranteed from the outset, it’s announced location has come as something of a surprise (although Saudi Arabia had recently been talked about as the backdrop for the fight), and is already emerging as one of the highlights of the story. Joshua will enter the ring with a record of 22-1, while Ruiz will slip between the ropes boasting a record of 33-1.
The Ruiz-Joshua rematch is, fittingly perhaps, being promoted as “Clash on the Dunes.”