Whether he likes it or not, the spotlight is now fully on Andy Ruiz Jr. Ruiz, the unified heavyweight champion of the world, is finishing up a worldwide press tour with his December 7th rival Anthony Joshua and many questions have been sent his way.
Ruiz upset Joshua in their first fight in June, and the two fighters have a rematch set for Saudi Arabia that will tell us a lot about where the division stands once it’s over.
Ruiz has obvious respect for Joshua but doesn’t expect to be such a nice guy when they meet in the ring.
“It’s kinda exhausting going from country to country but, you know, this is part of the game and Anthony Joshua is a good guy, he’s a great guy, just like me, so I think we both have respect for each other outside of the ring,” said Ruiz to FIght Hub TV. “But inside of the ring there’s not gonna be no respect, no friends…it’s go time.”
Ruiz is a Mexican American who has fought often out of Las Vegas and on the West Coast. A trip overseas to Saudi Arabia was a little bit unexpected but one that Ruiz is now looking forward to.
“We didn’t know it was gonna be over there,” said Ruiz. “My team and his team were negotiating to see where it was gonna be at and thanks to Al Haymon and PBC we made an agreement, and we took the fight in Saudi Arabia. Best place and historic place where a lot of historic things happened. I made historic things so it’s the perfect way to go over there in Saudi Arabia and make history all over again.”
Ruiz Is now a media darling and picked up a huge following on social media after his upset of Joshua. He admits that life has changed.
“It changed everything,” said Ruiz. “It changed a lot, not just for me but for family’s life, my kid’s life, we don’t have to really struggle no more how we were by paying the bills, the rent, you know, stuff like that. I’m really blessed and I give all the glory to God and how he changed my life.”
Some speculate that Ruiz may not be as focused heading into the rematch but he insists he has all the motivation he needs.
“It’s my kids, you know,” said Ruiz. “My kids, my family, my wife is always motivating me as well. I think that if you have that positive energy always around you, you’re always gonna do good, you’re always gonna think smart, you’re always be confident. So I think that’s one of the big factors in your life; having positive people around you. And of course I’m still hungry, I’m still motivated. I want more legacy, I wanna win more fights, I wanna become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. And I’m not looking past Anthony Joshua or nothing but, we gotta get that win in December 7th.”
And there seems to be a reason why Ruiz is so confident heading into the rematch, as he simply believes that he has a style that is troubling for Joshua.
“You know what, his style is perfect for me.,” said Ruiz. “Whatever he does, I don’t think it’s gonna make any difference. He can move around, he can jab around, but I’m always gonna be there. If he moves to the left, I’m gonna be on the left throwing combinations. So that’s the different purpose between me and other fighters, so I think that’s what makes me a different champion.”
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