Matthew Macklin is predicting another loss for Anthony Joshua when he faces Andy Ruiz Jr. in their rematch on December 7th in Saudi Arabia. Macklin says he believes former heavyweight champion Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) is in “DENIAL” about his previous 7th round knockout loss to Ruiz (33-1, 22 KOs) last summer on June 1.
Matthew notes that Joshua is STILL blaming his defeat on a “lucky punch from the Gods” instead of coming to terms with the fact that was he beaten because he used the wrong approach for the fight against Ruiz. Macklin thinks Joshua needs to keep the fight long, use his jab, and throw straight right hands. Nevertheless, he still sees Joshua losing the rematch with Ruiz. He thinks it’s a BAD idea for Joshua to being straight into the rematch with Ruiz rather than getting fights in before facing him.
Is Joshua taking the immediate rematch out of GREED?
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has already explained why they chose to take the rematch straightaway. They had the rematch clause, and the terms greatly favored Joshua. If they didn’t take the immediate rematch, then it wouldn’t be the same terms when they negotiated with Ruiz for a fight in the future.
You can argue Joshua is taking the risk for money, and that could end up biting him on the backside with him losing again. If that turns out to be the case, Joshua will need to think long and hard whether he wants to risk facing Ruiz in a third fight.
Macklin: Ruiz beats Joshua again
“Probably Ruiz [beats Joshua]. When you go straight into a rematch after a loss like that, they don’t tend to go too well,” said Macklin to IFL TV in picking Andy to defeat AJ in rematch on December 7th. “They usually go the same way, like David Price vs. Tony Thompson. When you take a beating in a fight, you’ve got to psychologically recover from that.
“If the training wasn’t right or if it was something, it would be easy to pin it on that. Anthony Joshua said it was a ‘punch from the Gods.’ It WASN’T a punch from the Gods! He actually had Ruiz down in the third round, and then he got hit by a shot behind the head, and his equilibrium went. He got through the round, and he never recovered. Andy Ruiz had him down again, and actually beat him up towards the end,” said Macklin.
What Macklin is failing to say is Ruiz was getting the better of Joshua in rounds one and two as well. It wasn’t just a situation where Ruiz hurt Joshua with a shot that he didn’t see when he went for the finisher in round 3. Joshua was getting the worst of it in the first couple of rounds when Ruiz was still in first gear, and just boxing him. Joshua landed a nice left hook to the head of Ruiz in the third that put him down. Instead of being smart, Joshua tried to finish him, and got caught by a left hook that took his legs away.
From there, Ruiz knocked Joshua down twice, and him ready to be stopped as the round ended. Joshua would have been knocked out in the third if there was a little more time left. The sad thing was Joshua was TOTALLY exhausted at the end of the round. This wasn’t because of Joshua being hurt. It was his horrible stamina rearing its ugly head just like it had in his fights against Dillian Whyte and Wladimir Klitschko.
There’s a lot of Logan Paul in Joshua. He’s a muscular guy that just cannot fight hard without gassing. You can argue that Joshua’s engine is similar to that of the YouTube celebrity Logan. Both guys gas almost immediately when they throw a handful of punches, and are mostly in their element when jabbing from the outside.
If he’s unable to knockout his opponents when he’s involved in furious exchanges, he’s at risk of gassing. Unlike other fighters, Joshua doesn’t get his second wind immediately. It takes him two or three rounds. Even then, it requires that his opponents back off so that he can recover. We saw that with Wladimir when he backed off and let Joshua recover after knocking him down in round six of their fight in 2016. Wladimir could have easily knocked Joshua out if he’d put his foot on the accelerator in round 7 and 8, but he foolishly thought he could box his way to a 12 round decision.
Joshua is in DENIAL about loss to Ruiz says Macklin
“It wasn’t a punch from the Gods. That makes you think he was in denial about what happened,” said Macklin in responding to Joshua’s comment about Ruiz winning due to him landing a big shot in round 3. If he hasn’t faced what happened and accepted it, then how has he gotten passed it mentally in his head? That said, he may approach the fight so much better.
“Mentally, he’ll have more fear in him, but will he have too much fear in him? There’s a lot of unknowns about how he is psychologically going into the fight. What is his self confidence like? I don’t know,” said Macklin in wondering whether Joshua is mentally recovered from loss to Ruiz.
You can blame Joshua’s denial about his loss partly on his promoter Eddie Hearn, who has been his enabler from day one. Instead of Hearn telling it like it is, he’s told the boxing media repeatedly that it was a fluke thing, and that it was a lucky punch from Ruiz that did Joshua in. It’s understandable from Hearn’s perspective why he’s been doing this. He’s trying to maintain Joshua’s popularity by not giving Ruiz credit for his win. By minimizing what Ruiz did by calling it a “lucky punch,” Joshua’s fans jump overboard and give him on the guy.
The problem with that tactic is Hearn has got Joshua believing what he’s saying, and that’s obviously not what he needs. Joshua needs the truth. The truth, his stamina is terrible, and he’s not fast enough to exchange with a talented fighter like Ruiz. Joshua doesn’t have the same talent, and he doesn’t come from the same amateur background as Ruiz. A lot of boxing fans believe Joshua was gifted his gold medal in the 2012 LONDON Olympics due to him fighting at home in England. It did look like Joshua deserved two losses in that Olympics to Roberto Cammarelle and Erislandy Savon.
AJ needs to keep Ruiz on the outside
“He’s got to keep it at the end of his jab and straight right hand,” said Macklin. “He can’t afford to go into a shootout with a shorter guy with faster hands. Don’t hook with a hooker. When he scored a knockdown, he went in for the finish, and went in with the exchange, and got clipped and came out send best.
“I’m not going to say he’s going to lose. I don’t know what’s going to happen in that fight. If you put a gun to my head and say who [wins], I’d say Ruiz,” said Macklin.
Joshua doesn’t have a good enough jab to keep Ruiz on the outside. Even if he did, he would need to be able to move away when he eventually gets passed the jab. It requires more than a jab to win a fight. Joshua will need to use footwork, and he’ll have to tie Ruiz up frequently for him to have a shot at winning this fight.
Ruiz’s punch resistance and his superior engine may be Joshua’s BIGGEST problem in the rematch. There’s little chance Joshua will knock Ruiz out on December 7, which means he’s got to be able to go 12 rounds to get the victory. That’s 12 rounds that Ruiz will have to tire Joshua out, and it takes one face-paced round to do that. Joshua gasses every time he’s pushed hard. We’ve seen that over and over during his career. Once Joshua gasses out, it could be all over for him. Ruiz will unload on him with a flurry, and likely finish him.
What we don’t know is what kind of referee that will be working the fight. Joshua had it his way with the referee that was selected for his 2017 match against Joseph Parker. If there’s a referee working that keeps the action on the outside all night, then Ruiz will likely lose. There was something very disturbing about how the referee controlled the Joshua vs. Parker fight. With that kind of referee, Ruiz will have very little chance of winning.
Deontay Wilder STOPS Luis Ortiz again – Macklin
“Ortiz is a good fighter as we’ve seen in the first fight. It’s not as easy fight, but I think Wilder wins, and probably knocks him out,” said Macklin in giving his prediction of the Deontay Wilder vs. Luis Ortiz rematch.