It looks like Anthony Joshua will get a chance to exact revenge against Andy Ruiz Jr, with a rematch clause set to be exercised.
The British heavyweight was stunned by his Mexican opponent, who pulled off one of the biggest shocks in the history of the sport to win their bout at Madison Square Garden. Ruiz won by TKO in the seventh round after sending his opponent to the canvas on four occasions and the result meant that Joshua lost his IBF, WBO and WBA world heavyweight titles and is no longer unbeaten.
But Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed that they have already triggered a rematch clause, saying on his official Twitter feed: "After meetings with AJ, Rob Mc and the management team in NY, we have today triggered the contracted rematch clause with Andy Ruiz Jr."
The rematch will take place at some point in November/December 2019, meaning that Ruiz will enjoy six months of being the unified heavyweight world champion before making his first defence of those titles.
Sky Bet are already offering odds on the rematch, and they have made Joshua odds-on to reclaim his lost titles despite having already been beaten by Ruiz. The bookmaker have AJ as the 1/3 favourite to win the fight, which is much shorter than the 1/25 he was priced at before their original bout.
As for the new unified heavyweight champion, odds of 9/4 are available for him to win as opposed to the 20/1 you could get with some outlets for the first fight. Incidentally, the draw is priced at 25/1.
Joshua vows to reclaim his heavyweight belts
Despite being on the wrong end of a shock result, Joshua was surprisingly upbeat after the original fight. His immediate thoughts were about a rematch, and whilst he showed great respect to Ruiz he did say when speaking in his post-fight press conference: "I'm still a champ and I will rectify it to get the belts back."
"I want to tell you this: I am a soldier and I have to take my ups and my downs - and on Saturday I took a loss. Congratulations to Andy Ruiz. He has six months or so to be champion because the belts go in the air and he has to defend them.
"I have to readjust, analyse, do my best to correct it - and get the job done in the rematch."
Joshua also refused to rule out the possibility of fighting across the Atlantic again either, stating that he "would not mind" if the rematch took place in New York or back in the United Kingdom where he remains unbeaten.
There is no doubt about it though, AJ must beat Ruiz Jr in the rematch. If he doesn't then his options will become extremely limited and his position in the top echelon of heavyweight boxers will have diminished. There will be no Tyson Fury fight or no Deontay Wilder fight if he fails to win, so it is crunch time for the British boxing superstar.
Full Anthony Joshua v Andy Ruiz 2 odds:
- Anthony Joshua to win - 1/3
- Draw - 25/1
- Andy Ruiz Jr to win - 9/4