Jack Green gives his boxing betting tips for Saturday night's Clash on the Dunes in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.
Plenty of people skipped the first fight between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz, thanks to an early-morning start time and a supposed gulf in class between the two fighters.
Nobody will miss the rematch.
Ruiz shocked the world when he stopped Joshua as a 25/1 underdog at Madison Square Garden in June.
Despite having only lost once – a debatable split-decision to Joseph Parker in 2016 – the Mexican was widely believed to have no chance of beating a seemingly unstoppable champion who was merely keeping busy before a showdown with either Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury.
But that night in June revealed both Ruiz’s qualities and Joshua’s flaws.
The then-challenger – now WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO champion – is surprisingly agile despite his stocky physique, and put Joshua under pressure with constant forward movement.
The left hook he landed in the third round, scrambling Joshua’s brain and ultimately leading to the end of the fight, proves he has the power to change a contest in an instant.
Joshua, meanwhile, showed his inexperience by rushing in after hurting Ruiz in the third round.
There were already doubts about the Englishman’s chin after he had been rocked by Dillian Whyte and dropped by Wladimir Klitschko, and hitting the canvas four times against Ruiz did not provide any reassurances.
Nevertheless, Joshua is the favourite this weekend, albeit by a narrower margin.
One defeat doesn’t erase what the 30-year-old had achieved before that night at MSG. He’s still a phenomenal fighter who has beaten top-class opponents like Klitschko and Parker, and it’s worth remembering that he put Ruiz on his back before the fight turned.
A more cautious approach should earn him revenge, but it’s hard to know how that first defeat has affected him mentally, so he’s no safe bet.
Instead, it’s worth backing the fight to go into the later rounds.
Joshua will learn from the mistakes he made in June, and won’t go flying in for a knockout even if he hurts Ruiz early on.
He’ll also be very careful to avoid being hit with another big left hand, having felt the full extent of the Mexican’s power.
Although this is a meeting of two dangerous punchers, it would be no surprise to see this become a chess match that goes beyond the middle rounds.
Joshua to win
Over 8.5 total rounds
#BetYourWay: Joshua to win, over 1.5 knockdowns and over 8.5 total rounds
Visit Betway’s boxing betting page.