Matchroom Boxing present an evening of world championship action as heavyweight king Anthony Joshua makes his American debut when meeting the challenge of Andy Ruiz Jr at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday. Sky Box Office screen the contest live from 4.00am GMT. Here are our top Anthony Joshua v Andy Ruiz Jr betting tips.
Englishman Joshua puts his IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO world titles on the line against an opponent thought to have little chance of causing an upset. Andy Ruiz was a late replacement for the disgraced Jarrell Miller who failed a drugs test during the build-up and was suspended from the sport as a result, costing himself millions. Big Baby has a long way to go if he is ever to clean-up his act and regain the confidence of the sport’s purists.
Ruiz Deserves Credit for Saving the Show
Eddie Hearn and his team at Matchroom had a tough job on their hands finding a replacement with many of the division’s best names refusing to fight Joshua, using the short notice as an excuse. Some tried to save face by pricing themselves out of the running, but full credit must go to Andy Ruiz Jr who showed the desire and self-belief to step up and save the show. A missed date and wasted training camp would’ve been a disaster for Joshua at this stage of his development, but we’re glad the fight night goes ahead.
Joshua v Ruiz is the main event of the evening, but it isn’t the only fight of note on the card. Callum Smith takes on Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam for the WBC Diamond and WBA world title at super middleweight in the chief support and that’s another clash that’ll capture the attention of UK fans. Win this, as he’s expected to do, and Mundo will set-up some big nights in 2019, with the likes of Billy Joe Saunders, Saul Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin in the frame. Smith will be looking to sparkle under the bright lights in New York, moving his career onto the next level.
Followers of the undercard will also see Tommy Coyle take on Chris Algieri at super lightweight for the WBO International strap and there’s also the chance to catch-up on the careers of Katie Taylor, Josh Kelly and Joshua Buatsi. It’ll be a late night, or early start, but this is one show well worth setting your alarm for as there’s quality throughout the line-up.
Make Your Opinions Pay
Enjoy the show and have your say on the outcome by taking advantage of the many sports betting markets offered by bookmakers. You can pick the evening’s winners and create a multiple designed to hold your interest or play one of the many eye-catching specials offered on each bout. There is also a long list of specials, including round betting, total rounds, will the bout go the distance, round group betting, to be knocked down, exact method of victory and when will the fight end.
Anthony Joshua is hot favourite in most of the fight’s betting markets and bookmakers have the Londoner priced like losing in America isn’t an option. It’s easy enough to see where they are coming from with that call and it’s something most fight fans agree with, but this is heavyweight boxing and if history has taught us anything it’s that anything can happen in this game. Fights can change with one punch and previous results are littered with major upsets. Will Ruiz cause another by beating Joshua and taking his titles? We’ll find out on Saturday night, that’s for sure.
Joshua Brings a Perfect 22-Fight Record
Joshua comes into this contest with a professional record reading 22 wins from 22 starts with 21 of those victories coming by way of knockout, resulting in a 95% KO average. Since making his pro debut with a first-round stoppage win over Emanuele Leo at the 02 Arena in Greenwich in 2013, AJ has cut through the division, making light work of every man placed in his way. He quickly rose through the ranks with a run of early knockouts but really announced his arrival as a major player on the scene when beating long-term ruler Wladimir Klitschko in London back in 2017,
In what was a thrilling contest, both men found themselves on the canvas, but it was Joshua who rallied, stopping Wlad in round 11 of a bout that will live long in the memory. Since that win, Joshua has beaten Carlos Takam in 10 and Joseph Parker on points. He was last seen stopping Alexander Povetkin in round seven at Wembley Stadium back in September of last year, sending his opponent to the floor twice before referee Steve Gray waved it off.
Punters predicting Joshua will move his record to a perfect 23 should expect to have to work for any value they get in this fight as bookmakers are playing their cards very close to their chest. The money men know there’s little joy to be had in taking on the champion and they have set-up camp in Team Joshua. Another win for AJ is no better than 1/25 when betting at Unibet. Tight, but many firms have the same result priced closer to 1/100. The KO/TKO is 1/4 – best price with Ladbrokes – the points win 7/2 when getting your cash down at William Hill.
Challenger Written Off Across the Board
Challenger Andy Ruiz has been written off across the board and that’s little surprise. The American brings a CV showing 32 wins against one defeat with the spare coming against Joe Parker when contesting the vacant WBO world title. Parker remains the only man to take AJ the distance, so there’s certainly no shame in that result, but it was a close fight and one Ruiz had reason to believe he should have won. A majority decision was returned at the conclusion of 12 rounds in Auckland, the scores reading 114-114, 115-113, 115-113.
Ruiz proved his worth that night and he also showed the watching world he belonged amongst the sport’s elite. Since losing to Parker, Ruiz has gone back to the drawing board and continued his improvement. He got back to winning ways with a first-round KO over Devin Vargas before beating Kevin Johnson on points over 10 rounds next time out. The challenger was last seen stopping Alexander Dimitrenko in five before a Carson audience, the beaten man’s corner pulling their fighter at the midway stage of the bout.
It’ll come as no shock to see the betting set-up against Ruiz and those who fancy an upset can get their hands on a cracking 12/1 when taking advantage of the generosity shown by Bet365. There’s enough of a price there to ensure there will be bits and pieces of interest on the outsider, but there’s more to be had if successfully calling the method of victory. Ruiz by KO/TKO is 25/1, the points cheer chalked up at as big as 37/1. All three are big prices and the kind we’d love to see boost your balance, but they are big for a reason. This is a question of how Anthony Joshua wins, rather than if.