By Ian S Palmer
Joseph Parker vs Andy Ruiz Jr. Preview December 10th
Unbeaten heavyweight hopeful Joseph Parker of New Zealand enters the ring again this Saturday, December 10th when he takes on undefeated Andy Ruiz Jr. of California at the Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand. The 12-round bout is for the vacant WBO World Heavyweight Championship. Parker beat Alexander Dimitrenko of Russia by a third-round stoppage in his last bout on October 1st while Ruiz won a 10-round unanimous decision over Franklin Lawrence on September 10th. The winner is hoping to land a shot at IBF Champion Anthony Joshua of England.
The 24-year-old Parker has a perfect mark of 21-0 along with 18 Kos. He’s well known for his power, but his speed should also be taken note of as he has pretty quick hands as well. His biggest problem is leaving himself open for counter shots. Parker doesn’t mind taking one or two punches to land one of his own and so far his chin has held out as it’s been tested quite often. But to be honest, Parker’s power has gotten him this far in his pro career, not his boxing skills as his current knockout ratio stands at 86 per cent.
Parker still needs to improve his stamina so he can fight the full three minutes of every round if he’s forced to. He won the WBO Oriental Heavyweight Championship by stopping American Brian Minto in seven rounds back in 2014 and also holds several other regional heavyweight titles in his part of the world such as the WBO Oriental Title and the OPBF crown. He’s faced some decent boxers so far such as Dimitrenko, Minto, Carlos Takam, Marcelo Luiz Nascimento, Kali Meehan, Bowie Tupou, Jason Pettaway, Frans Botha and Sherman Williams.
Parker turned pro back in 2005 and has 87 rounds under his belt since then. He has decent size for a modern-day heavyweight at 6-feet-4-inches in height with a 76-inch reach. His opponent, the 27-year-old Ruiz, also has a perfect record at 29-0 with 19 Kos. He’s the NABF Heavyweight Champion and has been quite active lately as this will be his sixth outing since last year. Ruiz is an intelligent boxer in the ring and possesses an effective jab, which he uses to set up his power shots. His best weapons are the left hook and overhand right and he’s been able to stop 11 of his past 15 opponents. There’s no doubt he has pretty good power and his current knockout ratio stands at 66 per cent.
Ruiz has 116 rounds under his belt since turning pro in 2009 and has beaten the likes of Siarhei Liakhovich, Joe Hanks, Tor Hamer, Ray Austin, Josh Gormley and Carl Davis. He’s the smaller man here as he’s 6-foot-2 and has a wingspan of 74 inches. He won the NABA title when he stopped Manuel Quezada in the second round in May of 2014 and also added the WBO Inter Continental Heavyweight title to his collection with the win. The knock against Ruiz is that he doesn’t always come into the ring in the best of shape. Even though he’s been active recently he came into his last bout against Lawrence at 252 lbs. That’s not too bad though considering he weighed 297 lbs. in his pro debut.
The outcome of this bout could be determined by the condition and weight of Ruiz Jr. He’s got good boxing skills for a big man, but Parker will give him trouble if he isn’t well prepared. This should be a relatively close bout as Ruiz has the better boxing skills and Parker has more power. It won’t be easy, but Parker should somehow find a way to emerge victorious.