Two weeks after Deontay Wilder destroyed Dominic Breazeale in the first round, it’s Anthony Joshua’s turn to try to look impressive vs. Andy Ruiz Jr. on DAZN on Saturday night. It might not be easy, but the unified heavyweight champion seems confident that he’ll dispatch Ruiz. But he’s not taking his opponent for granted.
“Fighting Andy for me is just as dangerous as fighting Wilder or [Tyson] Fury because they both possess their own skills, so I have to take Andy deadly serious,” Joshua said. “I don’t overlook him at all, I respect him and respect his team, and I really respect he put his name on the dotted line to take this challenge. No challenge is easy, no matter what the bookers are telling you or the oddsmakers. Andy is going to come in here and give me a real good fight and cause problems, and it’s down to me as a champion to think smart, box clever, out-box, out-strength, and out-muscle Andy Ruiz to get that win.”
The oddsmakers think that’s likely to happen. Joshua is a -2500 betting favorite, meaning you’d have to bet $2,500 to win $100 (Ruiz, meanwhile, is a +1000 underdog). And both will make big paydays. According to the Guardian, Ruiz will make about $7 million for the bout. Before Jarrell Miller dropped out of their fight because of multiple failed drug tests, Joshua was scheduled to make a $25 million purse. It stands to reason he’ll make a similar paycheck for Ruiz (Joshua made $20 million in his last fight vs. Alexander Povetkin).