Heading into his rematch with Anthony Joshua, we have seen Andy Ruiz Jr. play the role of an enigma just a little bit.
Ruiz upset Joshua on June 1 in New York, rising from a third round knockdown before shocking Joshua, and the masses, by scoring four knockdowns and a stoppage victory of his own in the seventh round. Now the IBF, WBA, and WBO heavyweight champion, Ruiz is less than 24 hours from his big rematch with Joshua, and pulled a bit of a shocker at Friday’s weigh-in.
Ruiz and Joshua face off in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, and Ruiz tipped the scales at 283 pounds at the weigh-in, 15 more than he weighed in the first fight. Joshua weighed in at 237 pounds, more than 10 pounds lighter than the first fight. It’s surprising when hearing this news, as leading up the fight everyone was expecting Ruiz to be much lighter in the rematch.
Some even speculated on Ruiz has gotten into Joshua’s head just a little bit, and that the talk of him being lighter for the rematch was possibly to sway Joshua a little bit. Joshua definitely looks to have changed his training regimen a little bit, but you have to wonder if it is for the better or worse.
Ruis claims that he has been training for this fight for a long time, and isn’t shaken by the thought of trying to chop down a determined Joshua. Ruiz also expects his rival to try his best to box come Saturday.
“It’s been a long three months of camp,” said Ruiz. “I’ve been training really hard for this fight. Like June 1, I made history, and I think the importance is to remake history on Dec. 7 in Saudi Arabia. Not much to say, but I’m ready to rock and roll, I know AJ is going to come in with a different game plan. I know he’s prepared, motivated, being more cautious; I know he’s going to try and box me around. My job is to prepare for whatever comes my way.”
After the first fight, one of the biggest heavyweight upsets of all time, Ruiz was said to have purchased a new home and new car, and many questioned if he motivation would be there for the rematch.
“Of course, I don’t want these beautiful belts to go away,” said Ruiz. “Remember I’ve been doing this since I was six, it’s finally paying off, and no way I’m going let these belts go. I’m going to die trying, and do anything that’s possible to get that victory. It’s been a long journey, long roller coaster in my life, and no way I’m going to let these go Dec. 7. Let the best man win.”
Pretty strong words from the heavyweight champion, and it is making a great setting for an excellent rematch, and one of the biggest fights of the year.
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