Bravose Predicts: Victory for AJ in the Clash on the Dunes
by Kate Rosindale on Dec 06, 2019
”The vision remains the same!”
They were the defiant words from Anthony Joshua on that fateful night in June when he suffered a seventh-round TKO at the hands of Andy Ruiz Jr. at Madison Square Garden.
There can be no doubt whatsoever, though, that the defeat in his Stateside debut has been a hugely humbling experience for the former unified world heavyweight champion.
Now, just over six months later, it is crunch time. The rematch - taking place at the Diriyah in Saudi Arabia on Saturday 7 December - could not be a bigger moment for AJ.
It really is make or break for the 30-year-old Brit in the fight that is being dubbed The Clash on the Dunes.
Can he achieve redemption and put himself among the likes of Lennox Lewis and Muhammad Ali by reclaiming his titles?
The alternative does not bear thinking about for AJ, his team and his fans – and here at Bravose we are backing AJ all the way.
Sure, Ruiz pulled off one of the biggest upsets in modern sporting history to take the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO titles. But it is fair to say there are multiple reasons as to why it was such an upset.
We believe this time around that AJ will be more focused, patient and disciplined than ever. He is mentally strong enough to have recovered from any kind of psychological damage left from the knockdowns he suffered in June.
In any case, AJ is not the only fighter who will have been mentally changed by the previous result. There is a solid chance that Ruiz’s first victory will have dampened the fire within him. Victory does not guarantee a better mental position.
With AJ’s confidence restored and the mental side of the fight in the bag, we can look to his physical attributes for the reassurance that history will not repeat itself.
With that long range of his being absolutely key to success, we also believe that AJ’s new lighter weight will only be of benefit - he weighed in for the fight at his lowest mark in five years, 16st 13lb.
We are looking forward to this bulk reduction resulting in a quick-firing engine giving AJ added speed to his punches, without him losing any of the power that saw Ruiz knocked to the canvas early in the June fight.
And just as AJ has physically changed in the past six months, Ruiz has undergone his own transformation, albeit in the opposite direction.
At the weigh-in, Ruiz tipped the scales at 20st 3lbs - that is 15lbs heavier than last time around, and the heaviest he has been for a fight in over a decade.
Add to this the fact he has not fought as close to the match-up as last time, and to us it can only raise even more question marks around his fitness levels and readiness for the fight.
That is why here at Bravose, we believe there really is only one outcome on Saturday night, and that is a comprehensive victory for AJ.
This time around there is no rematch option in the contract, so when AJ wins he will be eyeing up a 2020 fight against Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury.
Bring it on.