3 Things Anthony Joshua Needs To Improve Before The Rematch With Andy Ruiz
The world was stunned on Saturday night, eastern time, as unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua was administered a beating by Andy Ruiz who handed the Brit his first loss.
It was supposed to be Joshua’s coming out party in America, his first fight in the states as he continued to further his brand, but his first impression across the pond was a disastrous one.
Joshua had his opponent on the canvas in the third round and many would’ve imagined that we’d see what we’ve become accustomed to from the 29-year-old – a destructive finish.
That wasn’t to be. Joshua came out recklessly looking to finish Ruiz and was caught with a counter left hook to the temple and his legs did a funny dance. He would go on to be dropped twice in that third round and never really recovered.
Ruiz had him down a further two times in the seventh before the referee waved the encounter off and thus, the LA-native became Mexico’s first heavyweight champion.
Joshua has an immediate rematch clause which he can activate at his discretion, but the former champion needs to address some serious issues if he’s to become successful and regain his titles.
Joshua can’t seem to sustain a good level of fitness throughout a fight, especially when it’s not going all his own way. We saw him attempt to end Wladimir Klitschko in the 5th round of their bout and when the Ukrainian fought back, Joshua’s energy was zapped from him.
It happened again against Ruiz. When the challenger refused to wilt under the pressure after being dropped, Joshua couldn’t compete and never got his legs underneath himself.
Joshua had no answers to Ruiz’s punches, even before his knockdowns. He tends to put his gloves up and stay stationary, hoping for his opponent to stop punching and retreat.
He also attempts a weird tactic of keeping his hands down when he’s out of reach, almost believing that he has the ability of a slick welterweight.
Also, Joshua is too vulnerable when he’s exchanging punches and seems to lose all his boxing fundamentals. It leaves you looking through your fingers as swings wildly with his chin in the air.
3. The Jab
When you have a six-inch height advantage and eight-inch reach leverage, it’s imperative that you make use of that with a snappy jab that stops your opponent from closing the distance.
Joshua’s jabs lacked emphasis and he was almost using it as a faint rather than a legitimate shot. The jab is also a set-up shot for Joshua’s power punches and that never seemed forthcoming.
Joshua is still a favourite in the rematch and given that he’s already proven that he can drop Ruiz, he will fancy producing a lethal performance – but he must improve.