Gameplay in the game is similar to that of the previous game. The more big hits the player land consecutively, letters that spell out "RUMBLE" appear below the player's side of the screen. Letters also appear when the fighter taunts his opponent. Once the word is formed, powerful combo attacks can be activated that will almost definitely knock the opponent down. This time, however, there are three levels of "RUMBLE", which build up one after the other. If the player successfully lands a combo with his RUMBLE Meter full on the third level (where the letters start smoking), the final blow can launch the opponent clear out of the ring, giving the player an instant victory.
Michael Jackson allowed for his likeness to be used for the game.
News from Midway's sequel to Ready 2 Rumble Boxing were first made public back in early summer of 1999. In May 2000, showed of the game at that year's E3 for demonstration. It was here the Midway announced that the game would receive a PlayStation 2 release. In September 2000 the game was previewed for public demonstrating at that year's ECTS. That same month images and screenshots of two of the game's secret characters were unveiled: Shaquille O'Neal and Michael Jackson. It was stated that Jackson was motion captured and digitally photographed for his character. Midway released the PlayStation 2 version on October 23 to coincide with the release of the PlayStation 2. As with the previous game, Michael Buffer appears in the game as himself. The game's roster also features the then U.S. PresidentBill Clinton and his wife Hillary Rodham Clinton, credited respectively only as "Mr. President" and "The First Lady".
The game was met with positive to very mixed reception. GameRankings and Metacritic gave it a score of 77.63% and 75 out of 100 for the PlayStation 2 version; 74.44% and 70 out of 100 for the Dreamcast version; 71.60% and 64 out of 100 for the Nintendo 64 version; 63.86% and 68 out of 100 for the PlayStation version; and 54.03% and 57 out of 100 for the Game Boy Advance version.
In Japan, Famitsu gave the PS2 version a score of 31 out of 40.
^Douglass C. Perry (June 4, 1999). "Off the Record, Vol. 21". IGN. Retrieved November 6, 2014. Midway has plans to bring sequels to Ready to Rumble, NFL Blitz, Hydro Thunder, and NBA Showtime to the PlayStation 2, in addition to the RPG it announced in late May.
^Douglass C. Perry (September 3, 2000). "ECTS 2000: Midway's One-Two Punch". IGN. Retrieved November 6, 2014. Ready to Rumble: Round 2 was shown in fully playable form, and of the two, it looked a lot farther along in its development cycle.