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.
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,”
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