The long awaited rematch between WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO Heavyweight champion Andy “Destroyer” Ruiz, Jr., and former champion Anthony “AJ” Joshua finally arrived before 15,000 in attendance with Joshua re-gaining his titles giving Andy Ruiz a boxing lesson in December of 2019 in of all places Saudi Arabia.
Andy “The Destroyer” Ruiz, 31-2 (22), #283, of Imperial Valley, CA, lost his titles to Anthony “AJ” Joshua, 23-1 (21), #237, out of Watford Hertfordshire, UK, over 12 rounds never being able to catch up to the fleet footed Joshua.
Joshua followed a good game plan in staying out of a slugfest with Ruiz like he did in their first fight. There were few exchanges between the two of them. Joshua made it a point to stay one step ahead of Ruiz for 12 rounds. The judge’s scores were 118-110 twice and 119-109. Ruiz’s excuse after the fight was “I will come in better shape the next time.” He came in 15 1/2, pounds heavier in the rematch some six months later. Will there be a next time?
The IBF and WBA do not have Ruiz in their ratings! The WBO has Ruiz No. 4. The WBC where Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder reigns as champion has Ruiz No. 7. The WBA for some reason still has Fres Oquendo No. 15 though he hasn’t fought since July of 2014!
The WBA’s No. 1 contender is interim champion Trevor Bryan, 20-0 (14), out of Schenectady, NY. He hasn’t fought since August of 2018. So how does he keep his interim title and No. 1 rating? They also list Lebanese Manuel “Diamond Boy” Charr, 31-4 (17), of Cologne, Germany though he hasn’t fought since November of 2017 winning the vacant WBA World title.
The IBF has Kubrat “The Cobra” Pulev, 28-1 (14), from Sofia, Bulgaria as their No. 1 contender. His only loss was to Wladimir “Dr. Steelhammer” Klitschko back in November of 2014 being knocked out in 5 rounds trying to win four titles that Klitschko held.
The WBO has as their No.1 contender Oleksandr Usyk, 17-0 (13), of Kiev, Ukraine, the former Cruiserweight champion. He vacated his titles to move up to heavyweight with his lone fight in October of 2019 when he stopped Chazz “The Gentleman” Witherspoon. Seems the WBO is pushing for a Joshua and Usyk fight.
WBC champion Wilder is finally giving No. 2 contender Tyson Fury, 29-0-1 (20), of Cheshire, UK, his deserved rematch. Fury should have won the title but a controversial draw kept Wilder’s title. On February 22nd Fury will get his rematch from their December 2018 fight. Fury kept busy posting a pair of wins in 2019 as did Wilder. The WBC No. 1 contender is Jamaican Dillian “The Body Snatcher” Whyte, 27-1 (18), of London, UK. His lone defeat was to Joshua in December of 2015. He won a pair of decisions in 2019. He could face the Wilder-Fury winner but wouldn’t it be interesting if he were to have a “keep busy” fight with Ruiz?
Seems since the Joshua-Ruiz rematch was not a crowd pleaser it may not happen at least in Joshua’s next fight in figuring he would fight the same fight. Ruiz in the meantime may think about having a “keep busy” fight as mentioned previously. Since Joshua’s exciting April of 2017 battle with Klitschko where he was ahead on two of the scorecards before stopping his opponent he hasn’t exactly set the world on fire.
So, in 2020 it is a wait and see what Joshua decides while the Fury-Wilder rematch takes place next month in Las Vegas. Keep posted!