Rewind to late May, and ESB ran an article entitled: ‘What If: Andy Ruiz beats Anthony Joshua?’ And though the title, or the question posed in the article’s headline, drew a ton of derision – no way would “fat” Andy Ruiz beat unbeaten heavyweight champ A.J was the general line of thinking, and shame on the writer for even being foolish enough to ask the question in the first place – the upset indeed came on June 1, with “Destroyer” Ruiz living up to his nickname; his physique be darned.
Now, around six months on, as we await the return fight between the body beautiful and the chubby kid (Ruiz’ own desription of himself), the question: What If: Anthony Joshua beats Andy Ruiz? has a good chance of generating almost as much derision as the earlier article. The question posed is a turnaround and fight fans seem to have turned around in their thinking; most of them anyway. Now it’s “glass jaw” Joshua who has “no chance.”
But Ruiz upset the odds in fight-one, and now it’s Joshua’s turn. Plenty of experts do feel he can do it – Abel Sanchez the latest to predict a Joshua win on Dec. 7 – and Joshua himself says he is as determined as can be to do it: to avenge his painful loss, prove he’s no “quitter,” and redeem himself. Ruiz goes as far as to say his very career is on the line, as is that of Joshua.
The question of what Joshua will do should he lose to Ruiz again has been asked, but what will Ruiz do if he loses? Without a rubber-match (which could of course happen) where would a beaten Ruiz go? It all depends on how Ruiz were to lose – if were to get himself KO’d in Saudi Arabia, it would be a long road back for the Mexican-American. Has Ruiz got the hunger to go back to the drawing board so to speak, and work his way back towards a chance at regaining the titles? Again, if there is no immediate rubber-match between these two (IF Joshua wins, that is), where might Ruiz go?
Plenty of fans say that Joshua, if he loses again, will retire (Tyson Fury recently said that if A.J gets knocked out again it will be very hard for him to carry on with his career). But might Ruiz look at calling it a career if he gets knocked out next Saturday?
Both guys are young and one loss, two losses, even three losses should not equal a career in tatters, and it might be that winner and loser both carry on fighting. There is as we know a heck of a lot on the line here, and the big fight next Saturday should attract an audience of many millions. But of the two fighters, who has THE MOST to lose?