It may not be the heavyweight championship fight fans crave, but the stakes still will be sky-high Saturday night when Anthony Joshua battles Andy Ruiz Jr. at Madison Square Garden. It's the main event of a four-fight card starting at 9 p.m. ET. Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) is fighting in the United States for the first time, and a victory Saturday sets him up for a colossal payday versus American champ Deontay Wilder for the undisputed heavyweight title. But Joshua can't overlook Ruiz, a quick fighter with good hand speed who's 32-1 with 21 knockouts of his own. Sportsbooks list Joshua as a -2500 favorite (risk $2,500 to win $100), with Ruiz getting +1100 (risk $100 to win $1100) as the underdog in the latest Joshua vs. Ruiz odds. The over-under on rounds is 6.5, and you can also wager on exactly how long the fight lasts. Before you make any Joshua vs. Ruiz picks, be sure to see the boxing predictions from Peter Kahn.
A fight game veteran with over 20 years of experience as a manager, promoter and advisor, Kahn has his finger on the pulse of what goes on inside and outside the ring. He can be heard weekly as co-host of "The Fight Guys" podcast on the SB Nation Radio Network.
And nobody knows the heavyweight division better. Just two weeks ago, Kahn called Deontay Wilder knocking out Dominic Breazeale in the first round -- a massive 22-1 long shot bet. "Based on everything Wilder has expressed leading up to the fight and his true dislike and beef with Breazeale, expect Wilder to come out and try to get rid of him early in order to make a statement," Kahn told readers. The result? Wilder ended the fight 2:17 into the first round with a violent one-punch knockout, and everyone who followed Kahn's advice made a killing.
Now, Kahn has broken down Joshua vs. Ruiz from every angle and released four best bets. He's sharing them over at SportsLine.
Kahn knows Joshua, who holds the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO belts, is looking to expand his brand with his U.S. debut. Joshua grabbed his first belt three years ago, turned heads by outlasting Wladimir Klitschko in 2017 and has become a British sensation capable of drawing 90,000 fans to Wembley Stadium. Despite his 95 percent knockout rate and the heavy expectations on him to dazzle at MSG, Joshua said he's only interested in getting a win; he doesn't care how.
Kahn also knows Ruiz is coming off a fifth-round TKO of Alexander Dimitrenko on April 20. Promoters tapped Ruiz for this fight after Joshua's scheduled opponent, Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller, failed multiple drug tests. It's a fight Ruiz wanted badly; he told ESPN that Joshua is "a perfect match for me."
"Styles make fights," he said "He's high, he doesn't have a lot of head movements, so I think with my speed and pressure, I think it would bother him a lot." Kahn said he can see Ruiz finding early success thanks to his speed, noting Joshua "is typically a slow starter."
Kahn is highly confident he has the winner, and he has specific plays on the method of victory and exact finishing round.
So who wins Joshua vs. Ruiz? How does the fight end, and exactly how long does it last? Visit SportsLine now to see Peter Kahn's bold picks, all from the fight game insider who called Deontay Wilder's first-round KO win at 22-1.