Kelsey McCarson for Bookies.com

By Kelsey McCarson | | 5 mins

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Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz Rematch Early Bets Available

Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz Rematch Early Bets Available
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They say lightning never strikes twice in the same place, which is something Anthony Joshua’s promoters maybe should have considered before changing the original idea of rematching unified heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz in New York again to instead traveling halfway around the world to do it in Saudia Arabia.

Because, oh how that lightning struck the first time at Madison Square Garden.


RELATED: These Huge Odds Paid Off In Ruiz Jr's TKO Over Joshua


How Ruiz stopped Joshua in Round 7 on June 1

The first two rounds of Joshua’s defense against late-replacement opponent Ruiz went well enough back on June 1. Joshua was patient behind his left jab, and Ruiz didn’t really seem to be in a hurry to feel the right-hand power punch that was eventually to follow.

But after scoring a knockdown in the third round, Joshua, who had opened -2000 when the fight was announced, was quite suddenly and shockingly floored by the 29-year-old upstart from Imperial.

From there, Ruiz completely dismantled Joshua, knocking him down four times on his way to pulling off one of the greatest heavyweight championship upsets of all-time.

Ruiz vs Joshua 2 in Saudi Arabia on Dec. 7

Now the two are set to square off again, this time at a soon-to-be-constructed stadium in Diriyah, Saudia Arabia, in a promotion dubbed “Clash on the Dunes”. Will lightning strike there? The bookies don’t seem to think so.

Joshua enters the second contest a pretty significant favorite. The 29-year-old from England is -300 on the three-way moneyline according to SugarHouse, with Ruiz following at +220 and the draw at +2500.

The reason Joshua is favored by bookmakers is because before getting whacked by Ruiz, he appeared to be on his way to becoming the heavyweight star of a generation. The bookies seem to believe that might still be the case.

If you disagree, the best early bet on the three-way line on the underdog, Ruiz, is +250 at BetStars. Two-way moneyline action at FanDuel offers Joshua at -320 and Ruiz at +229, with the best overall bet backing Ruiz by any method is over at BetAmerica where the plucky American is +254.

Ruiz-Joshua 2 O/U Total Rounds Market

The O/U Total Rounds Market is split even at -115 both ways for 7.5 rounds over at DraftKings. That makes sense headed into the rematch because Joshua’s longer reach coupled with a more cautious approach could help him see the later rounds this time.

But it’s also conceivable that Ruiz won’t waste any time feeling Joshua out on Dec. 7. It’s possible Ruiz starts the fight with constant pressure tactics and forces Joshua into the type of slugfest the Brit can’t win.

Bookmakers don’t expect the fight to go the distance. Yes is +275 on the Fight to Go Distance market at SugarHouse while No is -400. There’s some truth to the fight likely being a knockout or stoppage either way. Both Joshua and Ruiz are hard punchers. Moreover, both seem to tire over the second half of fights because they carry more weight on their bodies than is usually considered optimal for boxing conditioning.

Joshua’s training sometimes delves into bodybuilding territory, and that’s something that his handlers will probably try to correct before the rematch against Ruiz. Meanwhile, Ruiz was awarded a championship belt by Snickers precisely because he loves candy bars and other yummy treats more than world-class fighters usually do.

There’s no telling what kind of shape Ruiz will be in for the rematch. Sometimes a huge win can really help a fighter sharpen focus on training. But sometimes a huge change in a fighter’s life, which for Ruiz is essentially going from a person only hardcore boxing fans know to a genuine recognizable mainstream celebrity, can spell total doom.


RELATED: Why Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr. Offers So Much Intrigue


Ruiz-Joshua 2 Method of Victory Market

Joshua by KO, TKO or DQ is -125 at SugarHouse. That analysis suggests Joshua will simply be too much for Ruiz to handle the second time around which does not reflect at all what happened in the first fight.

Ruiz was always going to be a tough out for Joshua. Despite the mainstream fascination of Ruiz as one of the most unlikely underdog winners in history, perhaps even a real-life Rocky Balboa, the truth of the matter is that Ruiz is a world-class boxer with a long history of amateur and professional success.

The best way to beat Ruiz this fist time would have been to fight him from long-range and make him work hard to get inside. He didn’t have to do that against Joshua in the first fight because after following a good plan over the opening two rounds, Joshua went for broke after knocking Ruiz down in round three.

Ruiz got to his feet, and that’s when the trouble started for Joshua. Instead of boxing cautiously from a distance, Joshua went for the stoppage. That’s when Ruiz exploded for the first of two knockdowns, and Joshua never really seemed to recover from those blows.

Most Intriguing Ruiz-Joshua 2 Odds

A slew of huge odds paid out after the first fight, but backing Ruiz by KO, TKO or DQ at +225 for the rematch a SugarHouse carries some weight. There’s value in that pick if you fancy Ruiz just having the wrong style for Joshua, or if you think Joshua just won’t be the same after suffering the knockout loss. Confidence, after all, is one of the most important assets a boxer can have, and if that goes, so does a fighter’s ability to compete at the elite level.

But maybe the most interesting bet is Joshua on points at +350 per SugarHouse. That’s probably the best and easiest way for Joshua to win his titles back, and he shouldn’t be heading into the second bout trying to do the same thing that got him into trouble in the first fight anyway.

Instead, Joshua should use his long reach and box his way into the later rounds. Even there, he should stick to keeping his distance. If Joshua happens to run Ruiz into a knockout blow while doing it, so be it.

But otherwise, Joshua’s best bet is doing everything he can to take the fight to the judges’ scorecards. Because lightning on the side of the fighter who isn’t one of boxing’s biggest promotional cash cows tends to miss its mark when those guys get involved.

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