Anthony Joshua (22-0) vs. Andy Ruiz Jr. (32-1) TV: DAZN
IBO/WBA/IBF/WBO World Heavyweight Titles Fight: Saturday, June 1st 9:00 PM ET (Madison Square Garden)
Fight odds: Anthony Joshua -2500 Andy Ruiz Jr. +1000
WBA World Super-Middleweight Title Fight: Callum Smith (25-0) vs. Hassan N’Dam (37-3)
Fight odds: Callum Smith -4000 Hassan N’Dam +1300
Fanduel Boxing Pick Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr.
Anthony Joshua will face Andy Ruiz Jr. in a Heavyweight Title fight. Anthony Joshua is one of the best heavyweights, if not the best in the world and has yet to falter in the ring. Joshua, a huge star in the UK will be making his US debut boxing in the Main Event at Madison Square Garden against Ruiz. While this is not a super fight it gives fans a chance to see Joshua in the US. Joshua, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury are largely viewed as the top three heavyweights in the division. Ruiz is a stepping stone for Joshua to reach his ultimate goal of becoming the unified heavyweight champion. Deontay Wilder holds the WBC Heavyweight Title, the only title Joshua does not hold.
To go along with the perfect physique for a heavyweight, Joshua has a good jab and knockout power. The question will be how long can Ruiz last against a destroyer like Joshua. Ruiz has an impressive record with only one loss by majority decision to Joseph Parker, a fellow top heavyweight and former world champion. Parker was once the WBO Heavyweight Champion before a unanimous decision loss to Anthony Joshua.
Ruiz has a decent chin and is a tough fighter with fast hands. Ruiz has good spatial awareness and is able to land his shots when close enough to his opponent and does not usually throw from a distance. Both fighters are 29. Joshua is 6’6 with an 82 inch reach. Ruiz is 6’2 with a 74 inch reach. The key for Ruiz as the shorter fighter will be to work the body of Joshua to try and wear him down. Ruiz looks to set up his big right hand with a looping left handed blow or a jab.
Ruiz is fast, but Joshua has the advantage in size, speed and power. Joshua does a nice job of following up his punches and increasing his work rate when he sees an opening. The accumulation of punishment is often what gets Joshua the knockout wins. Joshua’s straight right hand should be able to pierce the guard of Ruiz, as he does carry some power with it. The ability to throw combinations from different angles and put his full power into his shots is what makes Joshua such a devastating puncher. Ruiz will need to keep Joshua at bay by using his ring and head movement to make Joshua think of where and when to throw his shots. Joshua’s performance will be compared to Wilder’s recent performance against Dominic Breazeale, where Wilder got an impressive First Round knockout with a big right hand.
Draftking Boxing Pick Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr.
Callum Smith will also be fighting on this card in the Co-Main Event. Smith is the WBA Super Middleweight champion. He is a rangy fighter at 168 lbs with the ability to connect to both the body and the head in quick succession. Smith won the World Boxing Super Series super middleweight tournament in 2018 after beating George Groves in the Final with a 7th Round knock out and is looking to parlay another win against his opponent, Hassan N’Dam into a possible bout against Canelo Alvarez.
Callum Smith is 6’3 with a 78 inch reach. Hassan N’Dam is 5’11 with a 74 inch reach. Smith has good reach and is tough to hit. His work rate and power often overwhelms opponents. Smith can land sneaky, but effective counters when his opponent takes an ill advised step forward. Against Groves, Smith caught him by surprise. When Groves took a step forward, Smith landed a powerful left hook followed up with some right hands and vicious body shots to end the fight in the 7th Round.
Hassan N’Dam has decent speed and is a good inside fighter. Smith has the advantage in power, but N’Dam is durable and can stay in the fight with solid defensive skills and combination punching. N’Dam is hard to hit and is athletic with his ring movement. Smith has the reach advantage and should be able to keep the fight at a comfortable distance and win against a talented opponent. Smith will need to work the body and head to slowly wear down N’Dam. The speed may take some time for Smith to figure out and he will likely need a few rounds to find his timing. But, if Smith wants a big fight against Canelo Alvarez, then he will need to look impressive against an underdog opponent.
Picks: Anthony Joshua 5th Round KO
Callum Smith 8th Round KO