Andy Ruiz Jr is rematching Anthony Joshua after his phenomenal upset of the heavyweight champion six months ago, but they won’t not the only big boys in action Saturday in Saudi Arabia, as the entire main card is composed of heavyweight match up.
In the co-main event, veteran Alexander Povetkin (35-2, 24 KOs) will face Michael Hunter (18-1, 12 KOs) in a WBC title eliminator. Michael Hunter moved up to heavyweight after losing to Oleksandr Usyk at cruiserweight. He’s 6-0 as a heavyweight and picked up a couple of decent wins over Martin Bakole and Sergey Kuzmin (and a quick KO of the mighty Fabio Maldonado). He’s a solid outside boxer who uses movement and a high workrate to outwork his opponents. At 40, Povetkin’s understandably starting to slow down but he’s still a top heavyweight who’s only lost to Klitschko and Joshua. He still packs a hell of a left hook and knows how to get on the inside to land it.
It will probably take Povetkin a few rounds but Hunter is catchable on the inside and I think the Russian has a good shot to stop the American.
Dillian Whyte (26-1, 18 KOs) is coming off of two entertaining wins over Dereck Chisora and Oscar Rivas and will be fighting Mariusz Wach (35-5, 19 KOs). Wach shouldn’t prove as much of a challenge as Whyte’s two previous opponents, he’s 39 and got absolutely dominated by Martin Bakole in April. This is clearly booked as a chance for Whyte to shine on a Joshua undercard and bolster his case for a rematch with Joshua should he regain his titles on Saturday and need an opponent before a fight with Fury or Wilder can be made. Whyte’s drug test failure case after the Rivas fight still has not yet been resolved by UKAD, so he’s free to fight elsewhere in the meantime.
Filip Hrgovic (9-0, 7 KOs), the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, will open the card against Eric Molina (27-5, 19 KOs). Hrgovic was unlucky not to get the decision against Tony Yoka in the Olympic semifinals and in my opinion is the best prospect of the 2016 Olympic heavyweight class. His game is pretty simple, he uses his jab to paw, blind and post on his opponent to set up an extremely accurate and powerful right hand which he can then follow up with a nice left hook. At 6’6”, his size allows him to play that game very effectively against most opponents. Molina is 37 but he’s faced top level competition (he went nine rounds with Deontay Wilder a few years back) and is the type that should give some work without posing too much of a threat to a top level prospect like Hrgovic.
Andy Ruiz vs Anthony Joshua II full card– DAZN – 12:00pm ET / 9:00am PT:
Andy Ruiz Jr. vs. Anthony Joshua
Alexander Povetkin vs. Michael Hunter
Dillian Whyte vs. Mariusz Wach
Filip Hrgovic vs. Eric Molina
Mahammadrasul Majidov vs. Tom Little
Ivan Hopey Price vs. Swedi Mohamed
Diego Pacheco vs. Levan Shonia