After taking the fight on four weeks’ notice, Ruiz stunned the boxing world last June as he knocked down Joshua four times en route to claiming the IBF, WBO and WBA (Super) titles on another famous night at New York’s famed Madison Square Garden.
Joshua’s world came crashing down as the fight was called off in the seventh round, prompting the biggest shake-up in the heavyweight division since Tyson Fury ended Wladimir Klitschko’s nine-year reign as champion in 2015.
After that first professional loss, the 2012 Olympian now faces a career-defining fight – a must-win encounter against the only man to ever make him look ordinary inside a boxing ring.
Ruiz weighed in a stone-and-a-half heavier than Joshua on that night in New York but his superb hand speed and footwork bewildered his opponent. Rumours of pre-fight panic attacks, getting knocked out in sparring days before and plenty more wild speculation were dismissed by the Briton who conceded the better man won on the night.
He can’t afford to let that happen again.
Date, UK start time and venue
The ‘Clash On The Dunes’ will take place on Saturday 7 December in an open-air venue in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia – the first heavyweight title fight to take place in the country.
Ringwalks for the main event are expected to take place around 10pm GMT.
Will there be a live stream? How can I watch it?
Joshua vs Ruiz 2 will be live on Sky Sports Box Office.
UK customers can purchase the fight for £19.95 (€24.95 for those in the Republic of Ireland) up until midnight on Friday July 19.
Those prices still apply to self-service bookings (remote control and online) made after that time, but telephone bookings are set at £24.95 (€29.95 ROI). Sky note that "an additional £2 booking fee if via an agent still applies".
Betting tips via Betfair Exchange | UK users only | Subject to change
- Andy Ruiz to win: 11/5
- Anthony Joshua to win: 40/85
- Draw: 37/1
Was what we saw last June a freak result? Joshua has the natural boxing attributes to get the better of Ruiz - if he keeps his concentration and discipline.
But it remains to be seen if he has learned from those mistakes he made in New York - getting drawn into a fight against the skilled Mexican again is a huge risk.
Up close, Ruiz is too dangerous for him - AJ might be best served avoiding those exchanges and keeping the shorter man at bay. It might not be the prettiest method, but it could be the most effective.
Ultimately, whether or not Joshua has the mental edge for this will decide it. Being dropped four times by Ruiz - having previously hit the mat just once as a pro - leaves him in a tough place to come back from.
But having admitted he underestimated Ruiz the first time around, Joshua will surely be at his most focused.
Joshua to win via TKO in late rounds.
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