On Saturday, December 10, 2016, a WBO world Heavyweight title showdown between Kiwi boxing sensation Joseph Parker and undefeated Mexican-American contender, Andy Ruiz Jr. will take place at Vector Arena, in Auckland.
The Parker vs. Ruiz Jr. fight will be televised on HBO Championship Boxing starting at 9:35 pm, EST on a same-day tape delay.
Read on for Round By Round Boxing‘s staff predictions for Parker vs. Ruiz and let us know who you think will win.
Round By Round Boxing Staff Predictions - 2017
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Liam Brady, Graphic Designer/Staff Writer
Once again, the ever-changing Heavyweight division, since last year, provides another chance for a fighter to stake their claim as the best fighter above 200 pounds. This matchup consists of two fighters who can still be regarded as prospects, though I believe Joseph Parker has had the best opposition leading up to this title opportunity. And, furthermore, I feel he is the more polished fighter.
As a result, I see Parker winning this fight by decision. I feel he will keep it long range and pick off Andy Ruiz, aided by his movement, his jab and his height advantage. Ruiz is tenacious, so I see some uncomfortable moments for Parker if he cannot keep Ruiz off of him on the inside, but I see Parker prevailing over the course of the fight, via a competitive, but comfortable decision.
Robert Contreras, Staff Writer
I’ve long been critical of the Heavyweight division, but this is a proper fight. Andy Ruiz has insane hand speed–his protruding gut be damned. When he ran over Tor Hamer in 2013, his resume was looking better than Deontay Wilder’s at the time.
But Ruiz has slowed down. And he’s allowed a tremendous talent in Joseph Parker catch up to him. Ruiz is no joke, but Parker just has the goods. His hands can really fly and he’s a ferocious puncher. He’s a tricky one too—constantly setting big overhands with short, taps to the body.
Amber Williams, Photographer
CJ Halloran, Staff Writer
Joseph Parker is not just fighting for himself in this fight, but for the whole nation of New Zealand as well. If he wins this, Parker will be the first Kiwi to ever become Heavyweight champ, and I believe he will have this in mind as he steps in against Andy Ruiz Jr.
Ruiz on the other hand has stated that he must look for a knockout, as he is fighting in Parker’s home town and does not trust the judges (and deservedly so).
Given the motivations, there is no doubt that this fight will be a hard hitting, action-packed bout all the way through, but I see Parker pulling away with the victory by decision.
This is without a doubt the most unpredictable fight I have ever had to write about. Joseph Parker and Andy Ruiz are both young wildcards looking to join up with the big boys of the Heavyweight division.
Parker’s best win is against Carlos Takam, a fight where Parker was dominated early, only to catch up when Takam laid off. This isn’t exactly much to work off of. Ruiz’s best win is…Franklin Lawrence? An old as dirt Ray Austin? Ruiz has dominated these fights, but what does beating up middling opposition prove?
This is tough for me, but I’m going to go against popular decision and side with Ruiz. Parker was lost against Takam, who used timing to disrupt Parker’s power.
Speaking of power, Parker couldn’t put a dent in Takam’s shield. Ruiz is a smooth technician himself, and should look to score one shot at a time. As long as he keeps focused and energized, Ruiz will pull of the upset.
Alex Burgos, Editor-in-Chief
Joseph Parker vs. Andy Ruiz is certainly the fight I’m most looking forward to this weekend. Two big men who are nimble and can end things early with their thudding power is always a fun proposition.
I think Parker is the favorite with good reason, he’s been busy as hell with 9 fights since the beginning of 2015 and a hard-fought victory over the experienced Carlos Takam stands as his best test. But, I think Ruiz’s handspeed and fludity are being overlooked and if he’s on his game he can cause problems for Parker who did have some trouble against the aformentioned Takam.
I do think Ruiz has to earn Parker’s respect early on and try to keep him off balance to avoid calculated power shots.
In a mild upset I think Ruiz will prevail to become the first Mexican-American Heavyweight champion.
Header photo by Lawrence Smith/Fairfax NZ
Article photo by Photosport
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