The Unified Heavyweight Title rematch is almost here for Saudi Arabia, Saturday night and things are already different for Andy Ruiz vs. Anthony Joshua. One is significantly heavier, and the other has cut some weight.
The fighters stepped on the scale Friday afternoon in Diriyah, a suburb of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in anticipation of their 12-round WBA, IBF, WBO world heavyweight title “Clash at the Dunes.”
As anticipated, the Challenger Joshua, who suffered a stunning defeat at the hands of Ruiz on June 1st at Madison Square Garden, is lighter than the first fight. Boxing analyst Sergio Mora had pointed out to us on the Big Fight Weekend podcast that Joshua looked “thinner in the face” while sitting across from him in their fighter meetings this week. Hear his comments by clicking the box below:
Joshua stepped on the Saudi scale in the setting sun with his shirt off and sweat pants on. And, he tipped the scales at just over 237 lb., which is 10 lb. less than in the first match up.
Ruiz was next and while wearing a tank top, sweatpants and Sombrero, the newly-crowned champ weighed in at an eyebrow-raising 283 lb. That’s 15 pounds heavier than when he pulled the upset June 1st.
Many have commented in the last couple of days that Ruiz did not look any lighter after arriving in the Middle East. And, therefore, he’s perhaps not in great shape for the second fight with the former Olympic champ and undefeated World Champ, Joshua.
Now, Ruiz’s weight will also draw a comparisons to the 1990 heavyweight title defense of James “Buster Douglas” against Evander Holyfield. Douglas had stunned Mike Tyson dramatically and similarly to Ruiz’s upset of Joshua, in February of 1990.
However, after months of legal wrangling to get out of the rematch clause with Tyson in his contract, Douglas was not in shape. He weighed an awful 246 lb., which was 15 lb. more than the fit, 231 lb.,when he upset Iron Mike in Japan eight months earlier.
As we wrote about on the anniversary of Douglas-Holyfield in Octbober, Holyfield need to land just one booming right hand on Douglas in the third round to knock him out, and take away the titles. Douglas was basically never heard from again on the world stage.
If you are wondering, the Californian Ruiz previously fought twice at over 290 lb, both in his first two bouts as a pro and does not have a great physique to begin with. However, he’s now carrying even more weight when he looked flabby in NYC in June.
And, this will call into question: if Ruiz has stamina for the fight to go into the later rounds?
Of course that was not a factor in fight #1 at the Garden, as Ruiz got up from a third-round knockdown, staggered and then knocked Joshua down himself twice in that round.
He later went on to finish the Undisputed champ with two more knockdowns and a stoppage in the 7th round.
If “The Mexican Rocky” is going to get it done again, he’ll have to do it against a Joshua that looks to be in better shape, himself.