Anthony Joshua has been installed as the odds-on favorite to win a rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr after his shock defeat at Madison Square Garden. The Brit was priced at just 1/25 to successfully defend his IBF, WBA and WBO world titles in New York on Saturday night.
Ruiz was only drafted in at the last minute after Joshua’s initial opponent, Jarrell Miller, failed drugs tests, and he was widely seen as cannon fodder for the champion. Yet The Destroyer lived up to his name by flooring Joshua four times and pulling off one of the greatest sporting upsets ever witnessed.
Joshua looked a little sheepish in the post-match conference and you could argue that he was guilty of hubris. Before the fight, he had already been talking about his next opponent and he did not afford Ruiz the respect he was due.
His air of invincibility has now slipped and he will be desperate to make amends as quickly as possible. Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, confirmed that there was a rematch clause in the contract and he will be keen to nail down a date in the not too distant future.
Can Joshua Gain Revenge?
It will be a huge betting event once more and you will be able to find all manner of exciting offers at the online bookmakers. Watching a fight can be exhilarating, but that excitement is dialled up several notches when you have money riding on it.
You should always take advantage of the bonuses and promotions that bookmakers offer ahead of big fights, because you can really benefit by gaining free bets and other perks. It was not so easy to get excited about betting on Joshua at 1/25 when he was expected to wipe the floor with Ruiz, but now that he has tasted defeat it makes the second fight between these two look very interesting indeed.
The odds are likely to shift around in the build-up to the fight, but the even thebookiesoffers.co.uk have made Joshua the clear favourite again. He is priced at 2/7 with Bet365 and 3/10 with Paddy Power – both of which are listed at thebookiesoffers.co.uk – while they both have Ruiz as the 5/2 underdog.
About half the early money is going on Joshua, but Ruiz is a popular betting option too. He has never been knocked out and he displayed phenomenal power to topple Joshua on Saturday.
The Mexican Warrior Achieves Greatness
In fact, Ruiz has only ever lost once and that was a contentious points defeat to Joseph Parker in New Zealand. He was written off before the fight, largely due to the way he looks. Where Joshua has a chiselled six-pack, Ruiz has an enormous pot belly and he was frequently compared to the chubby kid from the move Up.
Yet he stood toe to toe with Joshua, absorbed his most punishing blows and vanquished the champion. “It’s because of the Mexican warrior I am,” said Ruiz, the first Mexican to ever become heavyweight champion of the world.
It drew comparisons with Buster Douglas beating Mike Tyson and Hasim Rahman getting the better of Lennox Lewis. Joshua was suitably respectful after the fight, praising his opponent’s performance, but he pledged to return to the summit of the sport in rapid fashion. “I’m still a champ and I will rectify it to get the belts back,” he said.
There is no question of him underestimating Ruiz in the rematch, and he will have to ditch the careless, arrogant attitude if he is to turn things around. He will need to be fitter, more focused and a lot stronger mentally in the rematch.
Lewis ruthlessly snatched back his belts from Rahman in a rematch, and Joshua could pull off a similar feat against Ruiz, but he is a mere mortal now and Ruiz will feel as though he can beat him again. It will be fascinating to see what transpires after a result that blew the heavyweight division wide open.