Andy Ruiz Jr. vs. Anthony Joshua
Saturday, June 01, 2019 – 11:00 PM EDT
Free Pick: Joshua-Ruiz Under 4.5 Rounds
Best Odds: William H. (+125)
It will be the reigning unified champion’s first fight on American soil as Joshua will compete at the lauded Madison Square Garden in New York City to defend his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles and look to send the traveling British home happy with a big victory.
As expected, Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) is a huge favorite over Ruiz (32-1, 21 KOs), which is only exasperated by the fact that Ruiz is stepping in on relatively short notice after Joshua’s original opponent, Jarrell Miller, was pulled from the fight after failing several drug tests. The UK fighter can be found as much as a -3300 favorite (BetOnline) while his opponent sits as high as a +1650 underdog.
So, the first question is whether or not Ruiz is a viable bet to pull off the upset. The answer is no. Despite the attractive odds, Ruiz has yet to prove himself to be among boxing’s best heavyweights. His biggest fight was controversial decision loss to Joseph Parker, who Joshua beat handily. Aside from that, there is little evidence that Ruiz has either the technique, size or the power to offset the hulking Joshua, who has an Olympic gold medal to go along with his undefeated record.
Obviously, the odds as they are leave a lot to be desired for a bettor. However, the prop bets are where you’ll find the most value. As mentioned earlier, Joshua is sandwiched in between fights with fellow heavyweights Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury. Wilder is coming off of an absolutely devastating 1st round knockout of Dominic Breazeale that made headlines and is still being shared on social media. In two weeks, Fury will square off with Tom Schwarz and stake his claim at being the best heavyweight in the world.
Joshua is going to look to make an example out of Ruiz as Wilder did with Breazeale. Although Ruiz hasn’t been knocked out before, Joshua is certainly going to aim for a short night and to make a statement in the division.
He’s a heavy favorite to stop Ruiz (-515 on 5Dimes) but digging a little deeper is where the value is. Chances are, Joshua is aiming to get Ruiz out before the middle rounds. The current line in the fight ending in under 4.5 rounds sits at (+125) and has the most value. Joshua isn’t typically a fast starter and often likes to carry his opponents for a few rounds. That may not be the case here so a knockout inside of 13 minutes isn’t farfetched. If you’re feeling lucky, picking the round certainly has some value to go along with the early stoppage.
Knockouts in rounds one (+1200), two (+1000), three (+900) and four (+900) all have great value at William H. And to offset the possibility of the fight going over 4.5 rounds, there’s +800 value for Joshua KOing Ruiz in round five. If you drop a small amount on the first 4-5 rounds, along with a wager that the fight ends before 4.5 rounds, you are almost certain to pick up a viable return on your bet.