Joshua upset with Ruiz calling him “Robot,” says he’ll “whoop him”
By Tim Royner: Andy Ruiz Jr. (32-1, 21 KOs) is starting in where American Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller left off in immediately trash talking IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) after being selected as the replacement opponent to face him on June 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Asked to give his thoughts on Joshua, Ruiz Jr. said he’s similar to a “robot” in the way he fights. He’s mechanical the way he moves. After hearing what Ruiz Jr. said about him, Joshua said he’s going to “whoop him” and “punish him” when the two meet up on DAZN and Sky Box Office.
Ruiz Jr., 29, will be getting a career high payday as the replacement opponent to face the 6’6″ 245 pound Joshua on the 1st of June. The original American opponent Jarrell Miller came up positive on several VADA conducted tests for PEDs, so he won’t be fighting AJ.
Joshua said this to Boxing Social about Ruiz Jr:
“What? He already started his trash talk? You don’t want to talk; this robot will whoop him. I thought he was a cool guy. I said, ‘I was just going to go in there and just beat him up slowly.’ But if he talks reckless, I’ll batter him… You can’t push these buttons, I’ll punish him badly. It’s up to him how he wants to approach the fight. If he wants to talk reckless, he’ll be in for a proper scrap. That’s what he called me, eh?”
It might play into Ruiz’s hands if Joshua comes out aggressively in this fight. That’s a style that the 29-year-old Ruiz is well accustomed to as a pro. If Joshua were to hang back and fight behind his jab the way that he did in his fight against Joseph Parker in March of last year, the bulky Ruiz Jr. would likely struggle to get to him. Ruiz, 6’2″, is giving away four inches in height to the 6’6″ Joshua, and an incredible 10 inches in reach. That’s an absurd size advantage Joshua will have in this fight. Parker, 6’4″, was only two inches shorter than Joshua, and he was giving away six inches in reach, but he couldn’t complete when AJ was on the outside using his jab. It’s going to be far worse for much shorter Ruiz Jr. He’s going to have to hope that Joshua slugs with him if he wants to land his big punches. Ruiz’s recently opponent 6’7″ Alexander Dimitrenko didn’t use his big height advantage to get the better of him in their fight on April 20. Dimitrenko gave up his height easily and allowed Ruiz to walk him down and land his hard punches. Joshua might not be willing to give up his size so easily without using it on Ruiz.
“I think being so tall he fights like a big robot,” Ruiz Jr said to Sky Sports about Joshua. “I think with my style, my speed, my movement, I don’t think he’s fought anybody like me. It’s going to be a whole different ball game. All the guys that he’s fought, they usually run around from him. I don’t think he’s good going back. I’m going to bring the pressure, the speed, and the combinations to him.”
Joshua does seem to move mechanically at times, and his stamina is not the best. It could be a lot better if he lost some size, but that’s not likely to happen. Joshua did get smaller recently after coming in at a career high of 254 lbs for his fight against Carlos Takam in October 2017. In Joshua’s last two fights against Alexander Povetkin and Parker, he’s come in at 245 lbs and 242 lbs respectively. While that’s not as low as the 230 lbs that Joshua started his pro career out at back in 2013, it’s a good weight for him. He’s still fast at 245 lbs, and of course, powerful as always.
“It’s my debut, and it’s debut as well at Madison Square Garden,” Joshua said about his U.S debut against Ruiz Jr. in New York. “There will be a lot of fans from the U.S supporting Ruiz, but there will be a lot of Brits out there as well. It’ll be a well balance.”
If the MSG crowd gets Joshua motivated to go to war on June 1, it could give Ruiz a chance of landing some of his big shots. He has a nice right hand that he can hurt his opponents with. But he’ll need to land that punch perfectly for him to get Joshua to budge, because he’s going to be going after him in this fight looking to create a favorable impression with the American boxing fans. With Ruiz Jr. being picked out instead of the better known and arguably more talented Luis Ortiz, it puts more pressure on Joshua to get him out of there early so the U.S fans can appreciate him. It took former middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin approximately four years for him to become a big name in the U.S. During those years, GGG was knocking everybody out that he faced. Joshua might need to do the same thing and wait just as long to become popular.