In the immediate fallout of Andy Ruiz’s lopsided loss to Anthony Joshua, boxing commentator and analyst Paulie Malignaggi shares his thoughts on what he saw in the rematch. Check out some excerpts below...
Malignaggi on his immediate reaction to Ruiz-Joshua 2:
“All I’m saying is that a fighter who showed up a little bit more prepared today would’ve been able to take advantage of Joshua...and maybe put him in more questionable spots and maybe we’ll see just how much confidence there was in Joshua to resist another assault in spots.”
On if he thinks Joshua can beat Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury:
“Wilder and Fury are kind of in a league of their own right now in the heavyweight division. I think they’re kind of head and shoulders now — it’s something like more of a separation, I would say, between Wilder and Fury and then the rest of the pack. And it’s kind of scary because, what happens when you guys fight each other? Do they just have to keep fighting each other because nobody compares? I don’t know.
“But right now I would say, yeah, Wilder and Fury are both a step ahead of Joshua at least...the (Luis) Ortiz-Joshua comparison is more of a realistic comparison.”
On if the rematch was more about Joshua winning, or Ruiz losing the fight in training camp (or lack thereof):
“You have to give credit to AJ — their game plan was smart...the game plan was the right game plan. But the confidence missing (in Joshua) was almost forgivable because he was knocked out six months ago by this guy. So he was slanting more towards safety first than slanting more towards winning and trying to execute in a manner where he looks good. I think it was more of a win here, look good the next time. And it’s almost forgivable because you have to give him credit for going after a rematch right away.
“And you also have to keep in mind — for everybody criticizing this guy right now — how many of you picked him to lose the rematch? You know you’re out there. A lot of you picked him to lose the rematch so you can’t now say that ‘oh he won but I don’t think he did this good, I don’t think he did that good’ — no, he won! He already proved you wrong just by winning.
“But me, I picked him to win the fight so I feel like I have more right to say that ‘ok, you won the fight but I would’ve like to see a little bit more confidence in the way he used his movement.’ I think his movement was the right plan but I would’ve like to see it in a bit more confident manner...be able to be more dangerous offensively because let’s face it, Joshua has the kind of power to be dangerous offensively but he was so much on the back foot a lot of times, so much committed to getting out more so than doing damage that it never deterred Ruiz’s aggression. It may have flustered him, the movement, but it didn’t deter him.
“And part of the reason (Ruiz) was flustered wasn’t just ‘cause of the movement, it was also because he came in like a fat tub of shit and he ruined his chances of closing the gap that way...a more prepared fighter may have been able to take advantage of the over-commitment to the the movement that Joshua had. But Ruiz wasn’t able to, and so that’s the result he gets.”
On if he was impressed that Joshua was able to maintain his stamina for the full 12 rounds:
“I think once you saw him come in that light, I think you kind of got the hint that this guy’s here for the long haul. This guy didn’t show up to blow through him, this guy didn’t show up angry that he got knocked out the first time and he’s looking to blow through this guy because he knocked him out the first time. This guy showed up with an intent to go into the rounds and maybe even go late into the fight.
“Once I saw the way he was leaned out like that, I thought ‘ok, this guy sees the fight in his mind going so rounds.’ And obviously that’s the way it went.”
On if he wants to see a third fight between Joshua and Ruiz:
“I don’t know, man. Based off this fight, maybe it’s not a lot of interest in part three. But, you know what, Ruiz got one, Joshua got one, now it’s Ruiz’s turn to make the adjustments. Did Joshua really deserve a rematch the way he got hammered in the first fight? But he got it, it was in the contract, right? So now Ruiz look like he didn’t really deserve a rematch in this fight. But you know what? Maybe he’ll show up in the third fight and come a little bit more prepared. Listen, we know Ruiz can do it if he’s prepared, we’ve seen what he can do, we’ve seen the quality of what he is. He just has to stay away from the fridge, bro.
“Do you wanna be great or do you wanna just eat? It’s up to you, you know. So, we’ll see.”