RuizJoshua2: Repeat or Revenge?

We are now less than 3 days away from the rematch that the world wants to see RuizJoshua2. However the question on everyone’s lips is will it be repeat or revenge?

Before we can try and answer that we must first look at their first fight, Joshua came into the fight as a massive favourite as Ruiz took the fight at 5 weeks’ notice, after Jarrell Miller was force to pull out after failing a drugs test. In the build up to the fight both men were very respectful while of course saying all the wright things, as both men were predicting a win however the bookies had Joshua as a big favourite. Then at the final press conference Joshua did something very unusual he gave his belts to Ruiz to hold and pose with them.

On fight night in front of a packed out Madison Square Garden both men made their ring walks Ruiz walked to the ring full of confidence, and he seemed to be loving the atmosphere. However when Joshua made his ring walk he just didn’t look wright he looked a bit like a rabbit in the headlights. Even during the introductions Ruiz looked like a man ready to fight and Joshua looked disinterested and like he didn’t want to be there.

At the start of the fight Joshua came out looking to work off his jab but unusually Joshua was boxing off the back foot it was all most like he couldn’t figure Ruiz out. These tactics continued in the second round, although Joshua won the first two rounds he just wasn’t busy enough. At the start of the third round Joshua landed a lovely combination which put Ruiz on the canvas, and everyone in the arena fought that was it the beginning of the end. Ruiz beat the count and Joshua went looking for the finish but as he moved in and started to land bigger shots Ruiz caught him with a shot on the head, which seemed to scramble his brain then a couple of shots later Joshua was on the canvas it was a much heavier knock down then Ruiz’s Joshua beat the count but his legs had gone. All he had to do to make it through the round would have been to tie Ruiz up but he tried to fight back and he was sent to the canvas again at the end of the round, he beat the count again and staggered back to his corner. From that point on Ruiz was in charge of the fight as he knew he could hurt Joshua and he knew he could take Joshua’s power. In the corner in between rounds although Rob McCraken was giving him good advice he didn’t seem to be listening. Then in between rounds 6 and 7 Joshua said “Why do I feel like this?” He’s never explained what he meant by the comment I think he knew he was losing the fight and he was feeling the pace. Then in the 7th round Joshua was put down twice more and the referee had decided that he’d seen enough and waved the fight off. Making Andy Ruiz Jr the first ever Mexican world heavyweight champion.

What went wrong for Anthony Joshua?

Many people have an opinion on what went wrong but here’s mine:

  • Did he over train?

He had a very long camp leading up to this fight and most of that was spent preparing for Jarrell Miller and when he had to pull out AJ would have still been in the gym ticking over then when Ruiz was announced he would have had to completely change the way he was training and get different sparring partners in. I know people will say that’s the life of a boxer, and it’s not the first time in his career he’s had to deal with a late change of opponent.

  • Did he overlook Andy Ruiz?

At the time of the first fight everyone was talking about a potential fight with Deontay Wilder for the undisputed world title, or an all British fight with Tyson Fury. So it is possible that he was looking past Ruiz. It is also possible that he started to believe he’s own hype because everyone thought he would just walk through Ruiz maybe he started to think the same thing.

  • He wasn’t up for the fight?

Some times when a fighter is a late replacement who everyone is saying he’s not in your league the fight can just become something you have to get through and you can treat it a bit like a sparring session, but when your opponent hasn’t read the scrip that’s when the fight can get difficult. AJ has said himself in interviews that he wasn’t up for the fight because he felt like he was fighting for nothing, which make sense when you think about it because he really had nothing to win and everything to lose.

I’m sure there are more things that went wrong that we will never know about I know it might sound like I’m trying to make excuses for Anthony Joshua’s performance, I’m not I’m just giving some possible reasons for his performance.

  • Repeat or Revenge?

So what’s going to happen on Saturday to be honest I don’t think anyone knows one thing’s for sure it should be a completely different fight.

If Joshua wants to win this fight he needs to put in a much better performance than he did in the first fight. He needs to be the Joshua of the last five years, on the front foot keeping Ruiz at range with his jab then the big combinations. If he does that I can’t see the fight going into the second half, if he doesn’t and he just looks for that one big shot he could be in trouble.

I think in this rematch we are going to see a completely different AJ because he’s going to want to prove that the first fight was just a bad night at the office. He’s also fighting for something not only the world title, but his boxing future because if he loses this fight it’s difficult to see where he goes from here.

Andy Ruiz is coming into this fight full of confidence because he knows he can hurt Joshua as his done it once and that was on only five weeks notice. I can see him using similar tactics as the first fight, I think he might look to keep low making himself a smaller target to hit. I think he could also look to use his movement to get on the inside and negate Joshua’s jab and try and lands shots to the body.

Although he’s champion all the pressure is still on Joshua but I can see him coming out trying to end the fight quicker than last time to prove to the world that the first fight wasn’t just a fluke.

Whatever happens one thing’s for sure this has all the ingredients to be a great fight because we’ve got a former champion looking to win his titles back, and avenge the only loss on his record, and a champion who wants to prove that he belongs at this level.

As always I love to hear what you guys think RuizJoshua2 will it be repeat or revenge? Please comment below and let me know your thoughts.

Deontay Wilder: Is Bronze Bomber about to defused?

Last weekend Deontay Wilder joined a very elite group of fighters, when he successfully defended his world title for the 10th time by defeating Luis Ortiz with a stunning 7th round knockout. Although this is an impressive feat is The Bronze Bomber about to be defused?

Now I know what your thinking have I completely lost the plot when I’m talking about a fighter with an undefeated record of 42-0-1 with 41 knockouts, been past his best and been on the verge of losing a fight but let’s look at the evidence. In only one of his last 3 fights has he looked like the Deontay Wilder we’ve come to expect, and that was when he destroyed Dominic Breazeale in 2 minutes and 17 seconds of the opening round with a perfectly timed overhand right laying him out with one punch.

Before the fight with Breazeale he took on Tyson Fury in one of the fights of the year for 2018. However he was out boxed for large parts of the fight despite putting Fury on the canvas twice in the fight he somehow managed to scrape a draw in a fight that many people thought Fury won. Check out my post on this fight and all the controversy surrounding it.

The rematch against Tyson Fury is pencilled in for February and I firmly believe that if he uses the same tactics that he used in the first fight he will lose. As Fury now knows that he can take Wilder’s power and for a big man Fury has very good foot movement, hand speed and head movement as well as a very good chin.

This brings us to last Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for the whole of the fight Ortiz was out boxing Wilder and he could barely land a meaningful shot and at times he looked clueless and like he didn’t want to be there. That is of course until the 7th round when he wiped Ortiz out with a huge overhand right. At the time of the stoppage all three judges had Ortiz up, 59-55 on two cards and 56-58 on the other.

In his last 3 or 4 fights you can definitely see a blueprint for beating Deontay Wilder keep him on the end of your jab, keep moving and that will frustrate him which will then leave him open to bigger shots. Another thing future opponents should try is to box him and not fight him because for a world champion he is severely lacking boxing skills.

The argument could be made that he is a bit of a one trick pony if he can’t land that big bomb like right then he’s out of ideas. Now I know all these things are easy to say and difficult to do especially when your in front of a man like Wilder and he’s trying to knock you out, and he’s not been world champion for so long for no reason however I think some of the fear factor of facing him has gone.

As always I love to hear what you guys think is Deontay Wilder on the slide? Please comment below and let me know what you think.

The Heavyweight Saga Continued

The Heavyweight devision at the minute although booming is in a mess, with everyone expecting an announcement last week on Anthony Joshua’s next opponent this week the saga continued.

It was widely expected that Joshua V Whyte 2 would be announced last week but speaking last Saturday at the O2 Dillian Whyte said that the Joshua fight was dead. It has been reported that Whyte was offered 5 million pounds to fight Joshua at Wembley Stadium on the 13th April but he turned it down opting instead to chase a fight with Dominic Breazeale to cement his position as mandatory challenger, which I can fully understand because as a mandatory challenger he would demand more money. However Whyte is now nearly 31 so he’s not going to have many more years left at the top level. I understand that Whyte knows what he’s worth I also understand that boxing is a business but if he keeps taking fights for the payday he may miss his chance to fight for a world title, and if he keeps taking hard fights he’s putting a lot of miles on the clock. Surely there comes a point when you have to forget about money and just fight for the title, and if he wins then he can write his own ticket.

As we all know Wembley Stadium has been booked for Joshua on 13th April since before he fought Povetkin unfortunately that now looks almost certain to be cancelled. Which is a shame for every British boxing fan that has had that date circled on their calendar for nearly 2 years. I agree that Joshua is the Heavyweight champion of the world so he needs to defend his titles around the world, but first I think he should fulfil his commitment to his British fans who has supported him since day one

It’s now looking increasingly likely that Joshua will be making his American debut on the 1st June at the Mecca of boxing Madison Square Garden in New York against Jarrell Miller. The biggest problem with this fight is that Miller isn’t even a household name in his own country. There’s no question that the money would still be huge but it’s not all about the money it’s about the fans and the Miller fight is only going to appeal to your hardcore boxing fan and not the public as a whole and it’s when the casual boxing fans get involved in a fight that it really takes on a life of its own.

I know it’s sounds like I’m just having a go at Anthony Joshua and Eddie Hearn but I’m not Joshua’s next fight is not the only fight that struggling to be made as on Tuesday the 5th February the WBC announced that they have extended the deadline for purse bids for the rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury . This means that both sides have got another week of free negotiations. However if purse bids cannot be agreed by next Tuesday 12th February the fight will be made with a 60-40 split in Wilder’s favour.

We know that Anthony Joshua wanted to fight Wilder for the undisputed heavyweight championship at Wembley on the 13th April but that fight couldn’t be made as the WBC insisted that Wilder fights Fury next.

I know this post sounds like I’m just having a rant but I’m not I’m just sick of politics ruining the sport that we love and if it keeps going this way it’s not only going to be the Heavyweight devision that will be in trouble it’s going to be the sport as a whole. If we don’t see the best fighting the best the public will lose interest and then the sport is at risk of dying out.

I apologise if this post sounds more like a rant I just don’t like the way our sport is going I think fighters and promoters need to remember that it’s not all about the money it’s about entertaining the fans. As always I love to hear what you guys think. How would you like to see the mess of the Heavyweight devision get resolved?

George Groves Calls Time On His Colourful Career

This week George Groves announced his retirement from boxing at the age of 30. He’s definitely a fighter that divides opinion, so in this post I will be looking at his career to see what he will be remembered for.

He had a very successful amateur career which included two ABA titles, and culminated in him winning a silver medal in the Commonwealth games in 2007.

He made his professional debut on 15th November 2008 against Kiril Psonko a fight he won on points over 6 rounds. He then went on a 8 fight winning streak scoring 5 knockouts along the way.

In just his 9th fight he got the chance to fight for his first major title when on the 3rd April 2010 on the undercard of Haye V Ruiz for the world title. He took on Charles Adamu for the Commonwealth title. From the opening bell Groves dominated this fight dropping Adamu in the opening round. He continued the onslaught putting Adamu on the canvas twice in the 4th. Until the referee finally stopped the fight with Adamu on his feet but taking a lot of punishment in the 6th round.

In his next fight on 31st July 2010 he went across the pond to Las Vegas to take on Alfredo Contreras a fight he won with a 6th round knockout victory. After a successful American debut he returned to the UK to defend his Commonwealth title when on 13th November 2010 he took on Kenny Anderson a fight that many people thought Groves would win easily given the fact that Anderson took the fight at two weeks’ notice. However the night very nearly became a nightmare as Groves hit the canvas in the 3rd round, he showed a true fighters heart to fight his way back to score a 6th round stoppage.

Then came the fight that all British boxing fans wanted to see after years of bad blood going back to their amateur days George Groves and James DeGale finally got it on in a professional ring. This fight is still one of the best fights I’ve ever seen as it went one way then the other. It was 12 hard fought rounds with every round difficult to score, at the final bell most people scored the fight by 1 or 2 rounds to DeGale. However the judges saw it differently scoring the fight 115-115,114-115 Groves and 114-115 Groves. Due to the fact that Groves only won the fight by one point it was thought that a rematch would be inevitable but for one reason or another it never happened and now it never will.

He went on to continue to defend his title against the likes of Paul Smith and Glen Johnson. On 25th May 2013 he took one step closer to a shot a the world title when he took on Noe Gonzalez Alcoba for the WBA Intercontinental title on the undercard of Froch V Kessler 2. Groves made a bright start and in the 5th round he landed a clean right hand which sent Alcoba to the canvas he made it back to his feet at the count of five, but the referee stopped the fight as the towel came in from Alcoba’s corner.

Then came his big chance on 23rd November 2013 he took on Carl Froch for the IBF and WBA titles, after months of build up the pair finally let their fists do the talking in front of a sold out Manchester Arena in a fight that was billed as The Battle Of Britain. Groves made the perfect start sending Froch to the canvas in the opening round and when that happened you could hear a pin drop in the arena. Froch battle back but still the better quality work was coming from Groves, then in the 9th round Froch landed a good combination and referee Howard Foster suddenly jumped in and stopped the fight. This result caused a massive amount of controversy especially when you consider that at the time of the stoppage Groves was up on all 3 cards 73-78, 75-76 and 75-76.

Due to the controversy surrounding their first fight the rematch had to happen so on the 31st April 2014 in front of 80000 fans at Wembley Stadium which at the time was a post war record for the highest attended boxing event in Britain the pair went to war again. Although Froch fought a better fight this time around for large parts of the fight the better work was coming from Groves. Until the 8th round when Froch left the result in no doubt as he landed the perfect right hand which wiped Groves out and the referee didn’t even bother with the count.

After those two back to back defeats people where beginning to ask have we seen the best of George Groves, but he continued to box on. On 20th September 2014 he got back in the ring to take on Christopher Rebrasse for the European and WBC Sliver titles. For 12 rounds Groves looked back to somewhere near his best as he out boxed Rebrasse for the whole fight going on to win a unanimous decision 110-118,110-118 and 111-117.

He went on to make two successful defences before once again he fought his way into a world title shot. On the 12th September 2015 he travel back to Las Vegas to take on Badou Jack for the WBC title. The fight started badly for Groves as he was knocked down in the opening round. However he was able to recover and turn the fight into a very close one that could have gone either way despite his best efforts Jack won a split decision 115-112 Jack, 116-111 Jack and 113-114 Groves.

One fight after losing to Badou Jack he put himself back into the title mix as he took on David Brophy for the WBA International title, a fight he won with a 4th round knockout. He then went on to defend his title in a all British fight against Martin Murray a fight he won with a unanimous decision 110-118 on all 3 cards. He then made another title defence against Eduard Gutknecht a fight he won with a wide unanimous decision 119-110,119-109 and 119-109.

On the 27th May 2017 he got another shot at the world title when he stepped in the ring with Fedor Chudinov, and many people believed that it was now or never for Groves. In the 3rd round Groves had his jaw broken, but he continued to box well. In the 6th round Groves continued to land some huge shots, with nothing coming back from Chudinov giving the referee no choice but to stop the fight. So finally at the 4th time of asking he became a world champion.

After winning the world title he decided to enter the World Boxing Super Series. On 14th October 2017 he took on Jamie Cox in the quarter finals. He out boxed Cox from the opening bell until the 4th round when he landed a well placed body shot to end the fight. Which meant the he would take on Chris Eubank Jr in the semi final.

On the 17th February 2018 George Groves and Chris Eubank when to war to see who would face Callum Smith in the final. Groves was able to control large parts of the fight behind his jab following it up with good counter shots. Eubank suffered a bad cut on his eye and blood flowed throughout the fight, in the final round Groves dislocated his shoulder but he was able to make it to the final bell to win the fight by unanimous decision 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113.

Despite making it to the final it was thrown into doubt as nobody knew if he would be fully recovered to compete in the final. However on the 28th October 2018 he stepped in the ring with Callum Smith in the final of the World Boxing Super Series. From the opening bell Smith made a fast start beating Groves to the punch and Groves was starting to look a bit shot warn. As the fight went on the more control Smith took and in the 7th round Smith scored the knockout. In his post fight interview he didn’t rule out retirement as he admitted he didn’t know were he was going to go from here.

On Monday this week the 28th January he made his decision by releasing this statement on social media:

George Groves,retirement

He ends he’s career with an impressive record of 28-4 with 20 knockouts.

I started this post by asking what will George Groves be remembered for I think he will be remembered as one of boxing’s characters who didn’t give up until he reached his goal. As always I love to hear what you guys think has George Groves made the right decision?

Who Will Anthony Joshua Next Opponent Be?

With an announcement expected by promoter Eddie Hearn this week about Anthony Joshua’s next opponent everybody what’s to know who it’s going to be, so in this post I’ll be looking at the top contenders.

The 13th April has been in every boxing fans diary for a while and rumours have been running riot about his next opponent ever since he knocked out Alexander Povetkin back in September last year. With the fight less than 3 months away I think we all know who’s on the short list, with the likes of Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury, Dillian Whyte and Jarrell Miller all been mentioned. There’s no question that any of those fighters would make a great fight with Anthony Joshua but who’s it going to be.

I think at the top of all boxing fans wish lists is a fight between Joshua and Wilder for the undisputed world championship. I have to admit I am one of them, however at least for this fight I think a fight with Wilder is unlikely for one main reason the WBC has ordered a rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, so if Wilder takes the fight with Joshua he runs the risk of been stripped of the world title.

After that stunning fight with Deontay Wilder Tyson Fury has put himself right back into the world title picture. Unfortunately this fight also looks unlikely as the two teams could not come to an agreement, as Tyson Fury wanted a 50-50 purse split and the best Eddie Hearn offered was a 60-40 split in Joshua’s favour. The irony is that he is taking a 60-40 split in Wilder’s favour to make their rematch happen.

In 2015 Dillian Whyte took on Anthony Joshua in a spectacular fight, since that fight both men have only improved as fighters. After Whyte’s last fight Joshua publicly offered him the rematch if he couldn’t get Wilder, but once again it seems despite the fact that both men are promoted by Eddie Hearn it seems like they can not come to an agreement. So much so that it has been reported that Whyte has begun negotiations with Dominic Breazeale. However Whyte has another problem he is currently a free agent as he has not renewed his contract with Matchroom and it is looking increasingly unlikely that he will. Instead it looks like he’s going to sign with Frank Warren or Showtime boxing and if that happens the fight may be harder to make

Jarrell Miller is also on most people short list as he has been calling out Joshua on social media for a while, and to be honest I think Joshua wants to shut him up. However according to some reports Miller won’t be ready for the April date, a number of reports are suggesting that the pair could meet in June at Madison Square Garden in New York. If those reports are true will that put the April date in jeopardy. Due to the fact it is unlikely that Joshua is going to be ready to fight again in June if he fights in April.

I know this is one of those blog post that has more questions than answers, but until the announcement is made it’s all speculation. With that in mind I love to hear what you think comment below and let me know who you would like to see Anthony Joshua fight next.