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Ruiz: “I feel Joshua’s a little wrong in the head”

Anthony Joshua

By Aragon Garcia: Andy Ruiz Jr. says he feels Anthony Joshua is a little off mentally going into their December 7th rematch in Saudi Arabia. Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) is still out of sorts from having had his world come crashing down on him in his 7th round knockout loss to Ruiz Jr. (33-1, 22 KOs) on June 1 in New York.  Ruiz says Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn is “pressuring him to do things he doesn’t want to do.” 

Ruiz thinks Joshua doesn’t know what’s happening. One moment he was viewed as the #1 heavyweight in the world, and the next moment he’s been kicked off the hill entirely. The way that Ruiz beat Joshua last time, there’s questions whether the 6’6″ British bodybuilder’s career will endure much longer.

Andy Ruiz Jr. laughs at Joshua’s “lucky punch” comment

“He said it was from the Gods, and to tell you the truth, it was from the Gods,” said Ruiz Jr. in response to Joshua saying it was a “lucky punch” that beat him in the first fight. I’ve been praying all my life for me to have this opportunity to become the first Mexican heavyweight champion of the world, and I give God the glory, and I’m going to stay the same. I was agreeing with him. God was on my side, I did win the fight, and I’m going to do the same thing December 7th. It was a dream come true. I made history, and on December 7th I’m going to continue to make history.

I never look for a knockout. If the knockout comes, it comes. The main thing I do is work on doing the things that we do in the gym. I feel when you go and look for the knockout, it doesn’t come when you want it. We’re going to be training hard. A lot of people are saying I’m not taking it serious just because I bought my family a nice house. This is something I’ve been dreaming about my whole life. We’re focused. I’m focused, and I don’t want to give these belts back to him,” said Ruiz Jr.

The way that Ruiz was so calm during Thursday’s news conference with Joshua in New York, it looked like he didn’t have a care in the world. Sometimes it’s not a good thing for a fighter to be as laid back as Ruiz is, but that’s his personality. He views boxing as a sport, and not something to be feared. For Ruiz, there’s no terror in boxing. It’s fun for him. Joshua looks like he’s mentally cut from the same cloth as Ruiz, and that’s why he’s trying so hard to frighten him with mean looks and words.

Eddie Hearn is pressuring Joshua to do things he doesn’t want to do says Ruiz Jr.

“At first I was iffy, but as soon as I got there; it’s a lot different,” said Ruiz. “It’s beautiful, and beautiful people. I suggest you go out there, get your visa, get your passport, and tune in on December 7th. I had face time with Canelo [Alvarez]. Canelo is going to go out there and support me. I’m going to announce it on Instagram. But there are a lot of celebrities supporting me, and going out there. The goal is we’re going to be at 255 pounds. We’re going to be a lot lighter. We’re going to feel a lot stronger. I just didn’t want to lose too much weight close to the fight, and I wanted to be strong. And, I want to feel good, and that’s exactly what we did.

We were exchanging a lot of different words, but I was telling him that, ‘I know he’s going to be ready. I know he’s hungry, and I was telling him that I’m hungry too. It’s going to be a hell of a fight.’ Right now, to this day, I feel he’s still a little wrong in the head. He’s like, ‘what the hell is happening?’ I feel Eddie Hearn is pressuring him to do things that he doesn’t want to do. But you know what? This is part of the game. He has a second chance,” said Ruiz.

It’s unknown if Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing is the person behind AJ that convinced him to take the rematch with Ruiz. If Hearn is the one pulling the strings to make Joshua dance to his will, then he’s taking a terrible risk. It’s obvious that Joshua will make more money by using the rematch clause that he had in his contract for his previous fight with Ruiz. Fighting Ruiz now means a better purse split for Joshua due to the rematch clause.

Ruiz Jr: Joshua being slimmer is a disadvantage for him

“Just because of one loss doesn’t mean it’s all over, you know? He can bounce back, but my job is to keep him from bouncing back, and winning my belts that I won from him,” said Ruiz. “I feel that’s better for him. He’s slimmed down, and he’s not going to be as strong. I feel it’s a disadvantage for him. He should be the way he was, but then again, I’m the one that’s going to be losing weight. I’m going to be faster. I’m going to be in better shape. On December 7th, everything is going to show. It’s just how I feel. If I drop a little more, I’m going to have more ability to do stuff. I know he’s going to be switching up a little bit.

I’ve seen a lot of Anthony Joshua in all his fights. I don’t think he’s good at moving around, boxing around. That’s what I think he’s going to be trying to do, and the thing I’m going to do is stick to him like gum. I’m not going to let that get to my head. Everyone is going to talk s–t. I’m not one of the s–t talkers. I have respect for him. I have love for him outside of the ring, but inside the ring, we put the switch on. It’s a whole different show,” said Ruiz.

Joshua was a better fighter when he was in the mid-220s in the 2012 Olympics than he is now. Watching Joshua’s videos from the 2012 Olympics, it’s like a different person. He was capable of throwing a lot of punches without gassing back then. He can’t do that anymore because of all the muscle weight he’s packed on. In looking at Joshua during today’s news conference in New York, he’s still in the 240s. He hasn’t lost any weight. There’s still a lot of time before the December 7th with Ruiz, but it’s not likely Joshua’s weight will drop below the 240s. He likes being big, and looking the part of a heavyweight champion.

Andy Ruiz Jr. says his combination punching will be his advantage over Joshua

“The speed, the combinations,” said Ruiz when asked what his advantages are over Joshua. “I don’t think he’s had a fighter that throws more than three or four punches. So I think that’s how I’m going to win on December 7th by throwing combinations, and being fluid, and using the head and the angles. We’re going to be there a few weeks earlier [in Saudi Arabia]. This isn’t the first time I’ve fought outside of the country. I fought in China two times.

Wherever your at, it doesn’t matter. As long as you believe in yourself, and you’re ready to fight. We already started camp. I can start camp, and still be eating good, you know? There’s a difference between being in shape, and being in fight shape. That’s what a lot of people don’t understand. A lot of people don’t know about boxing. We’re going to be in fight shape. It’s going to mean everything. I’m going to prove everyone wrong again.

That’s why I still have that fire in me, that motivation, because there are still a lot of doubters out there. I just want to shut everybody up, and prove everyone wrong. The main thing is to be victorious. That’ what we’re training for. Everyone is saying I’m eating too much. I’m eating comfortable. I would never want to end someone’s career. I have respect for all the fighters, especially for Anthony Joshua. On December 7th inside the ring, there’s not going to be no respect,” said Ruiz Jr. about his rematch with Joshua,” said Ruiz Jr.

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