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Andy Ruiz Jr: Joshua has more pressure than I do

By Miguel Maravilla

WBA/IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. (33-1, 22 KOs) of Imperial Valley, California is in the height of his preparation as he gears up for the rematch with former world champion England’s Anthony Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs). Ruiz squares off against Joshua on December 7th at the Diriyah Arena in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia live on DAZN.

Photo: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA

Fightnews.com® caught up with the heavyweight champion as he talked about his preparation and rematch with Joshua.

“I’m ready for this fight. We are doing good staying focused and disciplined,” Andy Ruiz told Fightnews.com®. “We are ready for December 7th. I know he will have tricks up his sleeve.”

It was this past June in which Ruiz pulled the upset in stopping the unified champion in six rounds at the Mecca of Boxing, New York’s famed Madison Square Garden. Making history in becoming the first Mexican heavyweight champion. Since becoming heavyweight champion, Ruiz has had many accolades including a homecoming parade in his hometown of Imperial Valley and was invited to Mexico to meet current Mexican President Andres Lopez Obrador.

“We accomplished becoming the first Mexican world heavyweight champion of the world. I couldn’t do it without my team. Manny Robles and my father,” Ruiz said. “It’s been unbelievable. All the love and support. I’m very proud of becoming the first Mexican to win a world title. I’m going to work hard to keep these titles,”

The champ Ruiz has had a full preparation for the rematch as he has been training in Guadalajara, Mexico with his trainer Manny Robles. Ruiz already looks slimmed and trimmed as the team will resume its training camp in Southern California.

“We have been working hard, Manny and I. He really pushes me. This camp was different. We had to sacrifice and be away from our loved ones,” Ruiz on camp. “Being over in Guadalajara was something different. It was like keeping me in a cage. It was pretty hard at first because of the altitude, it’s pretty high. Running in the mountains and doing all the work. Everything, all the hard work we have done. I will show December 7th.”

Trainer Manny Robles gave us his take on the camp.

“The most unique thing we did this camp was go to Guadalajara. It was important to get him out of his comfort zone,” Robles said. “We are training five days a week, all boxing. Two to three days of strength and conditioning. We will resume training in L.A. Sparring begins Monday. We will have six weeks and we should be fine.”

Ruiz came into the last fight on short notice after Joshua’s original opponent Jarell Miller was forced to withdrawal for testing positive for a banned substance. Opportunity came knocking for Ruiz as he took the fight a few weeks after scoring the knockout over Dimitrenko.

“My last camp, I didn’t get to rest my body. This time we are on schedule,” Ruiz said.

“Now we have time to plan prepare and coordinate this camp. We have time and were looking to take advantage of it,” Manny Robles said.

When asked if he had thanked Miller about letting the opportunity slip away. The champ smirked and laughed.

“I talked to Miller and I told him things happen for a reason it wasn’t his time. He will get his shot,” Ruiz responded.

There has been much speculation about Joshua’s condition leading to the fight with Ruiz. From Joshua being knocked out in camp by his sparring partner heavyweight Joey Dawjeko as apparently Joshua was in no condition to fight but the champ was quick to dismiss those rumors and speculations.

“When I win December 7th. Everyone will know that the first fight wasn’t a fluke,” Ruiz stated.

Its no secret but the heavyweight division is back in the limelight. The big hype leading to the first fight with Ruiz and Joshua was a potential unification down the line for Joshua with WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. Then there is the always colorful “lineal” champ Tyson Fury. Who can forget that wild fight between Wilder and Fury last year at Staples Center as they fought to an epic draw.

“The heavyweight division is back. That is where the action is at,” Ruiz explained.

Wilder is scheduled to take on Luis Ortiz in a rematch which will definitely be risky fight as a rematch with Fury is slated for early next year. Fury is coming off a tough decision win over Otto Wallin last month as Fury suffered a nasty cut and pulled off the decision.

“I see Wilder taking him out. I think he will win by knockout,” Ruiz said.

The champ gave his take on all the players in the heavyweight division.

“There is a lot of competition. Wilder, Fury, Chisora. The main thing is to focus. I have these belts and I will die trying to keep them,” Ruiz on the heavyweight division.”First I want to focus on this fight and win. Then we will think about another opponent,”

For now the focus is the rematch with Joshua as they will host the first ever heavyweight boxing championship fight in Saudi Arabia.

“At first I was like damn we are going all the way over there but going out there but it’s beautiful. I will show them all what I’m about,” Ruiz on fighting in Saudi Arabia. “We just have to adjust. We are going out there like 2 to 3 weeks before the fight. This isn’t my first time fighting overseas,” Ruiz added.

The stage is set now for the rematch in what will be the Clash in the Dunes as Ruiz will look to prove the first time was no fluke.

“I talked to him at the press conference. He said he will be boxing around but whatever he does we will be ready. I think he will try to win on points. The best thing for me is to throw my combinations,” Ruiz said. “He has more pressure than I do. I just have to do what I have to do and focus on winning December 7th,” Ruiz concluded.

“Is he going to stand there and fight with Andy or will he keep him at a distance?” Trainer Manny Robles asked. “I told Andy this is the eighth round. We stopped him in the seventh. Now it’s time to put the pedal to the metal and do what we did the first fight,”

Follow Miguel on Twitter @MigMaravilla

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  • He could/should have been training like this all along. Would be great to see him at full potential

  • He’s right. If Ruiz loses so what. Noone will say much. He can fight for an eliminator right off and get another shit at some point. If Joshua loses he will be butchered with comments of how he was overrated to begin with and is finished. Just like the first loss.
    Joshua needs to have the right mindset for this fight. He can’t just be focused on not being hit or he will get KO’ed again. He needs to be aggressive and smart. He needs to watch tapes of Lennox’s revenge fights. Either way I can’t wait to see this fight.

  • Joshua’s boxing skills are very limited. Awful footwork and even worse conditioning. He also doesn’t have much of a jab. I don’t see him beating Ruiz unless he knocks him out early. I predicted a knockout for Ruiz in the first fight and I’m predicting a KO for Ruiz again this fight. He is wayyyy more we’ll rounded than Joshua. He easily beats Joshua with combo punching and hand speed.

  • Eli Seckbach posted videos from an open work out a couple of days ago on his youtube channel, before the release of the videos people were alleging Ruiz lost a tremendous amount of weight based on a single picture that surfaced.

    The videos posted by Seckbach disproved that claim in which they show Ruiz looking heavier than he did for the first fight with Joshua not a great sign if he comes in heavier he needs speed.

    However I still believe Anthony Joshua wins the rematch big.

  • Andy Ruiz won the lottery literally when he destroyed AJ. I mean if the referee wouldn’t have stopped it, there would be no rematch cause AJ was exhausted and Ruiz would have probably injured him bad. This is do or die for AJ. if AJ wins Andy can still call for a rubber match down the road. I see a tough tough fight for AJ here. Andy by late stoppage…

    • Yes he did, He beat the Brit.. He beat him with skill, Power and Heart… And will do the same in December.

  • Actually Joshua does have a nice jab when we wants to use it. And he will jab ruiz’s eyes bloody in this one. 12 rd unanimous decision all behind the jab. He will keep ruiz at distance the entire fight and pile up rounds. Andy will get desperate to get inside and rush in and get caught with a big shot and dropped late In the 10th and he will then go into survival mode for the last 2 rds. Andy’s new conditioning allows him to see the final bell but easy decision for a patient, tactical Joshua. Fans will complain it was a boring fight. No one will be clamoring for a rematch except ruiz and his dad.

    • Can’t say I agree with Joshua wining with his jab. In the first fight Ruiz was walking him down the entire fight and EASILY slipping and parrying the jab. Every time Joshua threw the jab, Ruiz slipped it and threw a 3-4 punch combo. It’ll be the same thing this fight. Joshua has a lot to learn and not enough time to do it. Ruiz is way ahead in the skill game. I can almost guarantee Joshua will gas out again in this fight also. I really don’t think he’s beating Ruiz, especially with the jab. His only chance is a knockout and that will be a straight right or a left hook. He’d be a fool to try to go to the body of a much shorter fighter, he’d be wide open for combos to the head. It’s going to be a good fight regardless, wish it were this weekend.

  • if AJ uses jab and distance easy decision win. Does AJ know how to go to the body? Doubt Andres Ruiz belly takes it well.
    If Ruiz lands a big shot and AJ absorbs it Ruiz will go into a shell to go the distance. Ruiz will do anything not to be Ko’d so if AJ can do it he will be top dog again.

  • Every boxer has some kind of pressure when is heading to a fight of this magnitude, but is more to the one that lost previously, especially if he is the star, the money guy as Joshua still, despite his unexpected defeat. A convincing loss again, could be the end for Joshua’s megastar role, is not a secret, he and his people know this. Both guys will fight this time a lot different, because what is at the stake and also a much better preparation, better and more serious game plan, especially on Joshua’s side. Despite all this, Ruiz is the better man in the rematch and will win by ko again. Maybe not too early, but it could be a bit similar to the fight we just saw last Friday, where Beterbiev’s resilience and fortitude prevailed against Gvozdyk’s finesse display of skills

  • Dear Jimmy James. No he won’t be “sparked out”… You are clearly a UK citizen and just another Joshua groupie who would absolutely take a ride on Joshua’s motorcycle and you would sit in the back holding Joshua by the waist really tight whispering in his ear saying “go faster daddy faster”!

    • Absolutely can’t stand joshua, just saying how it is sweetheart.
      Tyson fury would school both easily.

  • This fight will be a continuation of the last round of the first fight..Ruiz by knockout this time!!

  • Hit him so fast??? Yea, I seriously Doubt that lmao….AJ doesn’t have that kind of speed. Never has. And prob never will. Even his footwork is slow. That is exactly how he got exposed to begin with. Someone fast AND can take a shot. It didn’t even need to be Ruiz that exposed him, Fury wld have done the same.

    • I disagree with your assessment, look at the knock down AJ scored that was a very fast right uppercut left hook combination the man has speed. He got exposed because of the conditions going into that fight and making a huge mistake in going for the kill when he dropped Ruiz.

      This time around I think he is going to stick to his game plan and take the win however it comes. The Parker fight shows us all we need to know about Ruiz, Every time Parker would nail Ruiz with a jab it would halt what ever Ruiz was throwing.

      Ruiz also looks heavier than he was going into the first fight so stamina might be an issue if this goes late which I believe it will.

      Ruiz is a catch and counter type of fighter a simple jab and feints will be enough to set traps for Joshua to capitalize on

      • Diego: yea man, I can agree with ya on the point that he can throw a fast uppercut lefthook combo. That Is true, the downfall to that is how many of those does he have in him. AJ starts sharp and quick but fades fast. In my opinion, it’s due to all that unnecessary muscle. Usually about the 6th round ish he seems to fade hard and can only shoot quick shots in spurts.speed outthe window. IF he was to drop some of that muscle, he would be a force. IMO…

        • Lets not forget about Ruiz and his stamina issues he has only been past the tenth maybe 4 times and only gone 12 in one fight and lost that.

          Now before you go saying he was robbed because it was in Parkers back yard lets be real it was a close fight and down the stretch Ruiz was gassed Parker nicked it in the end no robbery.

          But even then lets forget about that fight and look at another fight he had gone 10 rounds with Kevin Johnson.

          Ruiz is not the big puncher people are making him out to be look at his opposition look at his Kayo ratio. He is however a heavyweight that can fight and in this division it only takes one shot.

          Joshua does fade we know this but he also did very well using his jab and boxing against Parker who has a win over ruiz and got that win by using his boxing skills and a good jab.

          So here you see Joshua has the ability to use a good jab to win as he used his jab to out jab and out box the boxer.

          I honestly believe there was a bit of luck for Ruiz in this fight. He had all of the right conditions for this upset he isnt going to have those circumstances here in the rematch but what he does have today that he did not have then is the mental advantage knowing he stopped Joshua that can and will serve him well but what happens when we start getting into the 7 and 8th rounds and Ruiz just isnt getting that shot off? can Ruiz adapt and find a way? his fight with Parker doesnt suggest he can.

          • Diego: Great assessment.
            I dont really look at that Parker fight to justify Joshua and Ruiz. Styles make fights And all 3 have different styles. i do agree with ya as far as Ruiz and Parker go. Im with ya in that i believe Parker won as well. This fight will definitely be interesting. They both will need to make adjustments if either of them wanna be successful. Joshua has the power to drop Ruiz, we saw that clearly, BUT Ruiz has the quickness and movement to counter Joshua all night. I believe the fighter that comes in supreme shape will be the winner.

  • I see this fight as a coming together of the Buster Douglas who made his first defence of the title against Holyfield and the Lennox Lewis who regained his title from Hasim Rachman – a guy who loved his 15 minutes of fame and spent 14 and a half of them eating burritos and cake against a guy more focused and better prepared than the first fight, who is able to transfer his superiority on paper into superiority on canvas. AJ in 5.

  • Nice enough guy. He really is. But…………….none the less a one hit wonder. Glad he got to taste the money and the fast lane for a few months which all comes crashing to a halt literally come December

  • Ruiz’s counter punches reign terror on Joshua’s chin since he does not see them half time coming. Joshua should go into body building and stay out of boxing. I think Ruiz will step it up even more this time since the world is waiting for him to falter in this fight. History will repeat itself..…… Ruiz will win again.

    • I agree Scoobs….this is about pride for Ruiz.. unless AJ drops about 40lbs of that muscle, hes gonna gas again and wont be fast enough to slip those counters.. idk man, Ruiz is looking good and in shape to do some solid damage thru 12 rounds. Im anxious to see this one..

  • Until I see him beat a fully ready AJ I won’t believe he can straight up beat AJ. I think AJ is going to whip Ruiz. If he can figure out Povetkin he can figure out Ruiz

  • I really think lots of people want to believe that Ruiz can just beat AJ straight up but I’m not one of them

  • We could end up with a Ruiz vs. Ortiz unification fight with the winner defending against some unknown fighter who upsets Fury down the road.

  • I agree, unfortunately. Ruiz is right. He wasnt expected to even last.. Let alone win. Another win for Ruiz would throw Joshua in a heap with the likes of David Price and other promising guys tossed aside as bad goods and trashed in all comments. I hope for Joshua’s sake he comes out throwing seven different kinds of smoke.

    The one thing that Ruiz doesnt and will never have is the appeal that Joshua has as a giant, well built, physical specimen. People Will never take him serious and its not Ruiz’ fault. Hes short fat and opposite of what a heavyweight champ in this day and age is expected to be.

  • AJ has to box a methodical behind the jab strategy. He started that way in the first fight, was fairly even as Ruiz, slipped some punches and fired combinations back, but when Joshua nailed that left-hook, he went for the finish and got clipped himself. He will have to be more cautious this time round, box a more disciplined fight. Ruiz will just do the same again, but with even more intensity and pressure. If Joshua wins, then there will be a trilogy, but if Ruiz wins again, then Joshua’s status as a top tier Heavy is all but over.

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