Paulie Malignaggi breaks down Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz Jr rematch

In a recent interview with Fight Hype, Paulie Malignaggi shared his thoughts on the upcoming rematch between Andy Ruiz and Anthony Joshua.

The last fight, of course, didn’t exactly go to plan for the Brit as Ruiz shocked the world and caused one of the biggest upsets in the history of boxing by defeating AJ and taking his belts at the same time.

Since then, both fighters have had Twitter wars, exchanging punches outside the ring and inside of the social media platform.

The fighters have also struggled to agree on a venue.

Ruiz, who is now of course the champion, wanted the fight to be in his home country of Mexico. However, Joshua instead opted to fight as far away as Saudi Arabia.

Moreover, the fight itself takes place on December 7, which gives both boxers the chance to earn an early Christmas present of a large sum of cash, and maybe, for Joshua, his belts back.

Furthermore, here are some of Malignaggi’s thoughts on the fight.

Up first, the former boxer was asked how he feels about AJ immediately taking on the rematch, and to that, he said: “I think you’re almost in a position where you have to because Joshua is a guy who unified the titles and you don’t wanna risk those titles becoming un-unified and all the politics coming into play. Because of the situation it kinda leaves you in a bad position if you don’t take the immediate rematch.

“So whether you agree with it or not, you kinda have to do it, you know, because otherwise, you’re gonna put a lot of work you did, you’re gonna risk it becoming undone even if you fight him later.

“I mean granted, the devil’s advocate can say ‘well what if he loses again? He’s gonna risk undoing the work anyway.’ Sure, of course, but you roll the dice. This is what boxing is, right?”

Malignaggi states that Joshua had no other options but to fight for his titles back. Furthermore, if AJ left the rematch too long then, as Malignaggi states, all his hard work could be undone and the titles could be un-unified which would, therefore, mean that Joshua would have to win the titles separately once again.

When discussing the rematch itself, Malignaggi was adamant that fans will see better versions of BOTH boxers.

“Whether you see a better Ruiz or not, I don’t think you got to see all of Ruiz. I don’t think he had to use his whole arsenal to get Joshua out of there. He fought a pretty basic fight and he got Joshua out of there so so you may see a better Ruiz because Joshua may force a better Ruiz as well, and also Joshua will come with a mentally stronger game plan and physically he’ll obviously come with a stronger game plan.

“So in that regard, you expect to see a better Joshua, so in that regard, you expect to see a more Ruiz, a better Ruiz. Ruiz will have to show more of himself. You didn’t see all of Ruiz in that fight, he fought a pretty basic fight and the fight ended.”

So, according to Malignaggi, we can expect to see an even better fight than last time, if that’s even possible. This is because, according to the pundit, both fighters will be more prepared and therefore endure a better fight with Ruiz unloading more of his arsenal and Joshua countering that dangerous arsenal better than last time out.

On if the rematch will be more psychological for Joshua considering what happened the first time, and if Joshua could have doubts after Ruiz lands his first good shot, Malignaggi shared: “It can be, but it also can be something in Joshua’s mind – only he knows that. Sometimes only you know when you get hit.

“AJ strikes me as a mentally strong fighter. When I saw the Klitschko fight I really believed like ‘wow, this guy got up of his ass in front of 90,000 people and put this together when he was out,’ you know what I mean? He was almost out of the fight and he lost the next couple of rounds after that but refused to wither away and eventually got this guy out if there.

“To me that was impressive. Not because of physically stopping Klitschko, but what he did because of mentally – stabilising himself in such a storm.

“I think in the Ruiz fight, when you don’t expect a tough fight and you’re in a tough fight, you’re mind can never stabilise itself. I think he went into the Klitschko fight expecting a tough fight so when it got tough, mentally he stayed with it.

“Maybe in the Ruiz fight, he took him lightly… maybe from a mental perspective he knows how dangerous Ruiz can be now and he’ll have more of an edge to him.”

To conclude, Malignaggi sounds confident that AJ will be far more prepared mentally and physically this time around. However, he also believes that Ruiz, too, will be in better shape and more prepared for the fight. This sets the fight up to be a classic. Will Joshua overcome Ruiz and take back his belts?

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