Betfair Ambassador David Haye was as surprised as the rest of British boxing to learn Joshua will face Ruiz in Saudi Arabia, but the former heavyweight champion believes the Brit can get his titles back...
"Anthony has the athleticism, amateur pedigree and professional pedigree to win this fight on points"
All eyes on Saudi Arabia
I was very surprised to learn Saudi Arabia had been selected to host the rematch everyone wants to see, probably the biggest fight in recent years, certainly in the heavyweight division. Saudi Arabia to scoop the rights to stage this is such an amazing feat for them and it's a statement of intent as they aim to become a real player in world sport.
I'm looking forward to seeing what the infrastructure is like, as we all are, but I've heard it's fantastic. Amir Khan boxed there recently, and I read some very good things about that. There's definitely a desire from the Saudis to get all eyes on them and showcase what they can do. I'm confident they won't let us down.
Joshua won't struggle with the climate
There have been reports and interviews from some in boxing suggesting Anthony Joshua could struggle with the climate in Saudi Arabia, but I don't think either man will be affected by it on fight night. If one fighter was to have an advantage, of course, it would be Andy Ruiz Jr. The champion has based himself in Las Vegas over the last few years and that has a very warm summer indeed.
Ruiz is used to training and living in a hot part of the world, doing his boxing in the Nevada desert. If the rematch goes into the latter rounds and becomes a long, drawn out, gruelling fight, the man who's prepared and lived in the heat should have an edge over his opponent. Having said that, I don't think it'll be a massive advantage and I'd be surprised if climate was the deciding factor.
The jab is king for AJ
Keys to victory for Anthony Joshua as he aims to win his belts back from Andy Ruiz Jr are simple. He must maximise his jab, making it better than it has ever been before. He should watch DVDs of Lennox Lewis over the years and think to himself, how would Lennox have dealt with Andy Ruiz Jr? The answer to that question is by utilising the jab, making it a weapon and tying his opponent in knots with the left hand.
If Ruiz can walk through that jab then AJ must grab, hold, lean on, push down, use his strength, anything other than go toe-to-toe with Ruiz. There's no doubt Anthony has the athleticism, amateur pedigree and professional pedigree to win this fight on points, but that's only if he doesn't allow the contest to develop into a fire fight, with both men swinging bombs. If that happens it takes away all his advantages and puts them onto the champion.
Keep things as simple as possible. Jab, hold and stop the fight from becoming a slugfest. If Anthony Joshua can do those three things to the best of his ability, he can win this and look very comfortable in doing so. I'm expecting him to do just that.