The year’s most surprising fight is going to have a sequel.
Six months after Andy Ruiz Jr. unexpectedly took down Anthony Joshua to claim the world heavyweight title, the two will meet on the canvas again. It was officially announced on Friday that Ruiz vs. Joshua 2 will take place on December 7 in Saudi Arabia.
Joshua, 29, came into their first fight on June 1 as the clear favorite. He was making his U.S. debut and many fans had traveled from the U.K. to Madison Square Garden to see him fight. Ruiz, on the other hand, was far from the first choice for that bout. He’d signed on just over a month before the fight after Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller was disqualified over positive drug tests, and after at least one other boxer turned it down.
With the body types of the two being so different — Joshua is over six-feet tall and chiseled, while 29-year-old Ruiz is just under six-feet and decidedly rotund — it seemed like the fight was already decided before anyone even tossed on their gloves. But Ruiz, decidedly the underdog, shocked the world with his seventh-round TKO of Joshua, who until that point had been unbeaten.
Now the two will meet again in a heavyweight title rematch. Joshua told Sky Sports in a recent interview that Ruiz will be dealing with “a completely different beast” than he did the first time. But considering how the first fight ended up, who knows what could happen this time.
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