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Andy Ruiz showing improved speed, and combination punching

Anthony Joshua

By Aragon Garcia: A slimmer looking Andy Ruiz Jr. is showing better hand speed while appearing to maintain his devastating punching power as he prepares for his December 7th rematch against former unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.

IBF/WBA/WBO champion Ruiz Jr. (33-1, 22 KOs) says he plans on fighting 10 pounds lighter for the Joshua rematch in Saudi Arabia, because he expects the British heavyweight to use movement to try and win 12 round decision on December 7. Ruiz noticed Joshua has lost weight, and he sees that as a clear sign that he’s going to use movement against him.

Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn needs to start thinking now about what he’s going to do if Joshua loses the rematch with Ruiz. He might need to take Joshua in another direction by going after WBA ‘regular’ heavyweight champion Manuel Charr, because it would be foolish to put him in with Ruiz a third time.

In a public news conference in San Diego, California, Ruiz showed off his improved hand speed and mobility. Ruiz definitely looks better than he did in his June 1 win over Joshua at Madison Square Garden in New York. Ruiz’s left hooks like powerful beyond words, and his speed and combination punching are also quite impressive.

Recently, Ruiz has been second-guessed by a lot of boxing fans and some former fighters with his decision to trim down for the rematch with AJ. But with the way Ruiz is looking right now, he made the right decision to drop a little weight. As long as Ruiz doesn’t trim too much, he should be fine for the rematch against Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs).

Ruiz: Joshua is going to try and win by points

“That’s something that we wanted for the last fight,” said Ruiz in talking about wanting to be lighter for his first fight with Joshua. “We had a month and a week to train, but I wanted to be a little heavier because Anthony Joshua is big. I wanted to be able to carry his weight, and take his punch as well. I think being 10 pounds lighter is going to be a better fighter. I’m going to be faster, and let my hands go, and be faster on my feet as well.

“Of course not,” said Ruiz when asked if losing weight will cause him to lose strength for the Joshua rematch. “Losing 10 pounds isn’t going to make a difference. If anything, it’s going to make me stronger, and make me faster, especially with him running around. I think he’s going to be trying to win by points. My job is to cut the ring, and do what I got to do and let my hands go. That’s exactly what we’ve been training for in the gym,” said Ruiz.

It’s not even a secret that the slimmed down 6’6″ Joshua is going to utilize his jab, movement and clinching to try and win a decision against Ruiz in the rematch. Although it’s not the way that Joshua has won in the past, he has no choice. He can’t afford to fight with his normal style against a guy like Ruiz, because he’s too, too power, and his chin is too good. At least Joshua knows now that he doesn’t possess the talent to beat Ruiz with the way he’s fought in the past.

Ruiz making small adjustments for Joshua rematch

“Everybody thought I was going to do nothing, and that I would lose in the first few rounds against Anthony Joshua,” said Ruiz. “But I think having that will, and that motivation inside me that I want to do in doing something great, and making my dreams come true.

“That’s to become the first Mexican heavyweight champion of the world, and I accomplished that. I don’t think it was a big deal. Training in the gym, and not trying to change too much.

“I think what we did in the first fight worked out. Maybe make some little adjustments. We’ve seen the fight like 100 times, and seen the mistakes that I’ve done, and the mistakes that he’s done. Those are the little things that we’re practicing, and trying to correct, and make better,” said Ruiz.

The only adjustments Ruiz should make for the rematch with Joshua is to make sure he doesn’t stay on the outside. That’s how Ruiz got in trouble in round three last time. Ruiz let Joshua control the range start of the third, and he took advantage of it by landing a big left hook that dropped him. After that, Ruiz got smart, and went on the attack at close range. It was all downhill for Joshua from that point on.

Motivated Ruiz ready to prove his previous win over Joshua wasn’t a fluke

“On December 7th when I win the rematch, everyone is going to know that this is not a fluke,” said Ruiz. “This is the real deal. This is a little big kid doing everything he can to win this fight, and make more dreams come true.

“Hell no. He has to win first. These are mine, mine to keep,” said Ruiz Jr. when asked if he’ll let Joshua hold his belts before their December 7th rematch. “There’s a lot of competition out there. With Fury, Dillian Whyte, and Chisora. I was looking forward to the Parker [vs. Chisora fight], but I guess he pulled out.

There’s a lot of competition right now. The main thing is to just focus. I have these beautiful belts that I’ve been dreaming about my whole life, and now I have them here. I’m going to die trying to keep them,” said Ruiz.

The excuses that Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has been feeding the boxing media about how Ruiz’s win was a fluke, it’s not surprising that the fans have bought into it. But the rematch will determine whether the victory for Ruiz was a fluke or not. If Ruiz wins again, then Joshua and Hearn will need to face the facts that he’s not good enough.

Ruiz: I have tricks up my sleeves for Joshua rematch

“Of course, we’ve been working hard, me and Manuel,” said Ruiz Jr. during a news conference when asked about whether he’ll improve for the rematch with Joshua. “I’m looking forward to December 7th. I know he’ll [Joshua] have some tricks up his sleeves, but so will we. We’re staying focused and staying disciplined. I wanted to be with my people. Out here, I want to show off the little bit of training that I’ve been doing. I’m happy to show off a little bit for you guys. It was pretty hard at first because the altitude was high.

“We were running in the mountains, and doing a lot of different drills. I think everything will show on December 7th. All the hard work we did over there in Guadalajara. This camp is a lot different. I didn’t get a chance to rest, and my body hurt. There were times that I complained that I didn’t want to train.

“Luckily, I have a good trainer Manny Robles pushing me. When I don’t want to wake up, he’s over there calling me and looking for me at the house. He’s saying, ‘Come on, we got to go run.’ But this time we have more time, and we’re on schedule. We’re doing the sparring,” said Ruiz.

The Joshua-Ruiz Jr. rematch won’t deviate too much from their previous fight last June, because both guys showed ever facet of their game. Joshua tried using movement to get away from Ruiz, but it didn’t work. When Joshua on the outside, he couldn’t keep Ruiz off of him with his powerful jab.

Joshua being slimmer won’t make a difference says Ruiz

“He looks a little slimmer, but I don’t think that’s going to make it any different, you know?” said Ruiz Jr. about Joshua slimming down for their December 7th rematch. “You can do anything you want outside the ring, but when it comes to fight time, as Mike Tyson says, ‘Everyone has a plan until they get hit.’ That’s what we’re going to find out on December 7th.”

“Meeting Mike Tyson, he was a guy that I always wanted to meet,” said Ruiz. “Meeting him, he gave me some advice as well. He said to be careful outside of the ring. Inside of the ring, I’m doing good, but just be careful outside of the ring. Be humble, and take it seriously,” said Ruiz.

Joshua doesn’t move well enough for him to elude Ruiz for 12 rounds, and the problem. All the time that Joshua has spent in this training camp in slimming down could end up going down the drain when Ruiz cuts off the ring and knocks him out on December 7.


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