One of the biggest boxing fights and chance to bet on boxing in 2019 is the Joshua and Ruiz Jr. rematch on Dec. 12.
In this article, I discuss what I think about this boxing matchup and my betting picks for the fight, Anthony Joshua or Andy Ruiz Jr.
I cannot wait for this rematch, and I think that it will certainly be interesting to wager on sportsbooks this time around, considering this is the biggest fight of both men’s careers thus far.
Joshua vs Ruiz Jr Rematch Odds
The current odds for the Joshua vs Ruiz Jr II are:
|Andy Ruiz Jr||+215|
*The odds from DraftKings sportsbook and are subject change
To the surprise of maybe some, but not many, Joshua is the favorite pick of this fight. If you aren’t familiar with how the first fight went down, it was quite intriguing.
First Fight Recap:
Joshua, who was the current champ and the odds favorite, did fantastic early in the fight. Joshua displayed solid footwork and power, even dropping Ruiz as well.
However, Ruiz displayed great heart and tremendous accuracy, landing several efficient punches on Joshua.
Eventually, Ruiz was able to drop Joshua a couple of times and finish him, earning one of the biggest upsets in recent memory for the sport of boxing. Ruiz proved to be a great betting underdog pick.
Betting on the Rematch
Now that the fight is over, I expect two very different fighters coming to the rematch making the betting markets hard to assess.
For one, Ruiz will be quite confident, knowing that he can not only take Joshua’s shots but that he is also effective in landing them on him as well.
For Joshua, he has now tasted his first professional defeat, so I expect him to be as focused and motivated as ever, which I’m sure is quite the scary sight.
Still, for as much of an athletic specimen that Joshua is, there are still some parts about him that make me think the sportsbooks have gotten the odds wrong.
To break this fight down and discover the best value bets and picks, let’s take a look at each fighter’s strengths and weaknesses heading into this rematch.
Let’s start with the sportsbooks' favorite but also the one who lost the first bout.
Reasons to bet on Joshua
As I touched on a bit beforehand, the man possesses some of the highest levels of athletic performance we’ve ever seen in heavyweight boxing.
He has amazing footwork and is able to generate tremendous power in his punches from sometimes rather awkward angles.
However, although I see his athleticism certainly as a positive, it is not always a benefit. There is a difference between being a great boxer and a great athlete.
Another reason to bet on Joshua is the power he carries. Of Joshua’s 22 wins, 21 of them have come by way of knockout. Also, Joshua’s technique is growing in each fight as well, as he still is developing as a boxer, despite the amount of success he has had in his career thus far.
Reasons for betting against Joshua
For Joshua, I think his biggest enemy is himself. When you possess the type of athletic ability that he does, I think two things tend to happen.
For one, many people, like coaches and promoters, will send you up through the rankings far too fast for your own good, which can be of serious detriment to your career.
Secondly, I think we’ve seen Joshua rely a bit too much on his power and athletic capabilities at certain points, rather than just his boxing skills. After all, boxing isn’t called the sweet science for nothing.
Winning this fight will take technique, speed, IQ, and so on, all of which Joshua has, but I don’t know if he has enough of it quite yet.
Joshua has displayed brilliant boxing before but still shows signs of immaturity in the ring, suggesting that the sportsbooks might have it wrong in favoring him with their odds.
Extra Betting Odds*:
*These moneylines from DraftKings sportsbook and are subject change
With this win over Joshua, a new heavyweight king has been brought to the spotlight, and I think many people underestimated this man throughout his climb to the top. For one, Ruiz has sharp, crisp, punches.
Reasons to bet on Ruiz
Ruiz always throws for efficiency, and his punches always seem to land where he wants them to when he decides to unload. Plus, his combinations are absolutely beautiful, and the way he broke down Joshua was truly a spectacle to watch for boxing.
Another perk that both he and Joshua have is power. Ruiz certainly packs a heavy punch, as you can tell by the way he finished Joshua in their first meeting and many of his other fights.
Ruiz has 22 KO’s out of 33 wins, which, although not as high of a percentage as Joshua, is still solid and certainly worth considering when placing your bet.
Reasons to bet against Ruiz
As with any fighter, though, Ruiz certainly has some cons that make him a potentially bad bet. Consider his defense. If Joshua was a volume puncher, I think he would have wrapped the first fight up within three rounds.
Ruiz doesn’t seem to have the fluidity that some fighters possess when it comes to defense, and in the heavyweight division, that can be the deciding factor between scoring a KO and getting knocked out themselves.
Another issue I may see becoming a problem is his footwork. Ruiz is not slow with his hands by any means, but his footwork isn’t amongst the top of the heavyweight division, and I feel as though it gets him in troubled areas often where he shouldn’t be.
There's a case to be made that he deserves his betting underdog status.
Joshua vs Ruiz Jr Rematch Final Prediction
Overall, I think either man has the potential to take this rematch. However, I think that many people are still hyping up Joshua far too much in this rematch.
For me personally, I think no matter how many times they fight, it will be close.
The grit is something that Ruiz possesses and is hard to come by. Give him that and his crisp combinations and power, and you have a dangerous puzzle for Joshua to be able to stop.
In order to get the win, I think Joshua will need to add more volume to his punches that he throws, as well as do a better job of moving his head and keeping his hands up when Ruiz attacks. He oftentimes lets himself be too vulnerable to being hit.
For Ruiz, I believe he’ll need to do similar work to what he did in the first fight, but maybe make improvements in his footwork as a whole. With that, I think he’ll find similar success.
Overall, the betting market on this boxing fight seems to be favoring Joshua once again, with a late KO or picking up a decision win.
However, I tend to disagree with that, as I see Ruiz as his kryptonite.
The pressure and accuracy will prove to be too much once again for Joshua, and I think we see Ruiz truly come into his own.