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"Here's a unified heavyweight champion who can't think for himself in this particular fight" | Eric Donovan on worrying signs for Anthony Joshua

Raf Diallo
Raf Diallo

10:16 3 Dec 2019


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The stakes couldn't be higher when Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz meet for their rematch this weekend.

A second loss for Joshua would be a hammer blow for a career that appeared to be going places.

But will Joshua redeem himself or will Ruiz repeat the result of the first fight?

Unbeaten Irish fighter Eric Donovan was on Off The Ball and shared his verdict on what will happen.

He cited Ruiz's "aggressive intelligence" as a factor that troubled Joshua in the first fight.

"He's being aggressive and he's doing it in a very intelligent way," Donovan explained.

"By pressing and forcing the initiative but not expending energy. The person on the back foot is retreating and they're having to think more.

Fight Intelligence

"So they're expending more energy than the person on the front foot."

Donovan acknowledged that Joshua also exhibits intelligence in the ring.

"But I don't think he's as intelligent in the sense of the naturally-born boxer like Tyson Fury or Ruiz," he continued.

Joshua, Ruiz, Andy Ruiz Jr (right) lands a punch on Anthony Joshua in the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO Heavyweight World Championships title fight at Madison Square Garden, New York.

"I would put Ruiz in the same bracket as Tyson Fury. They just have something you cannot teach. Whereas Joshua joined boxing when he was 18-years-old.

"So he had a lot of attributes and abilities that set him up to be developed from thereon in. And in some ways he looks like a manufactured type fighter as opposed to naturally-born, gifted, elusive-type fighter.

"That's what went against him in this fight. Because he's so robust and so robotic."

Donovan also picked out an episode from the original fight where Joshua asked his coach what punch Ruiz had thrown and what his opponent might be planning next.

"Here's an Olympic champion and a unified heavyweight champion who can't think for himself in this particular fight. You have to have your own instinct and intuition," he said.

Adapatation

But can Joshua change anything to counter-act Ruiz's strengths?

"I don't Joshua can adapt to a different style," said Donovan.

"He's an upright type fighter with a very good a jab. He's not a forward fighter or an attacker."

Donovan also added that the jab will be key for his chances of mitigating Ruiz's quick hand speed.

You can watch the full chat with Eric Donovan via our YouTube channel. He also talked about his own plans for 2020.


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Andy Ruiz Anthony Joshua Boxing Eric Donovan Off The Ball Tyson Fury

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