Joshua to Ruiz Jr: “So, what’s the strategy to beat you?”
By Allan Fox: Former heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua finally dropped his tired tough guy act during Wednesday’s press conference during his face off with IBF/WBA/WBO champion Andy Ruiz Jr. in Saudi Arabia.
Joshua calmly asked Ruiz Jr. (33-1, 22 KOs) how he should go about beating him on Saturday night when the two face each other in their highly anticipated rematch at the Diriyah Arena, in Diriyah. To which an embarrassed Ruiz said, “Box me around.” At that point, Joshua started laughing.
👁👁 Roof top head to head overlooking the stadium 🏟
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) December 4, 2019
Is Joshua trying to lull Ruiz to sleep by being SUPER nice the way he did before their first fight last June? Ruiz showed no animosity at all in the build up to that fight, and it had to throw Joshua off a little with how polite the American was. Even when Ruiz asked if he could hold Joshua’s belts, he was polite. Joshua didn’t ask if he could check out Ruiz’s titles today. That would have been interesting had he did that.
Ruiz Jr. doesnt want to let his belts go
“He lost weight and will try to box me around,” said Ruiz about Joshua. “I don’t want to let these beautiful belts go. Now that I finally made my dreams come true, there is no way I will let them go.”
It took Ruiz 10 years to become a world champion, and you can understand why he doesn’t want to give up his world titles. Who knows? This might be the only time Ruiz is a world champion during his career. If he loses his 3 belts to Joshua, he might not ever win them back. Although Joshua will likely give Ruiz a trilogy fight, he might come up empty.
We’ll have to see how effective Joshua’s game plan is on Saturday. He and his team are confident that they’ve got the winning game plan to nullify Ruizs hand speed and combination punching. Perhaps they’re right
Joshua talks about his preparation
“Sparring is important, as it’s the closest thing to the fight,” said Joshua to Boxing Social. “We just got everyone in. Anyone that’s throwing punches that’s doing you favors.
“The more sparring partners and the more time I spend in the ring, the more comfortable I become. It’s more about creating a team, really,” said Joshua when asked about him hiring an additional coach in Angel Fernandez.
The sparring for the fight is kind of overblown for both guys. If Joshua wins, he’ll be doing it by changing his tactics to use his boxing ability, which he didn’t bother to try in his previous fight.
Losing muscle weight will help Joshua to gain speed, and enable him to box without gassing out. At 247 lbs, Joshua was too heavy for his fight with Ruiz last time out. Joshua might by 9 or 10 lbs lighter for this fight, and that’s not a lot but it should be enough.
Hearn discusses plans for Joshua’s next fight
“I think they will push for Joshua-Wilder. That’s the kind of fight that they [the Saudis want],” said Hearn to IFL TV about Joshua’s next fight. “No disrespect to Pulev, but ‘Oh, let’s bring Joshua back [to Saudi Arabia] against someone.’ I think that fight has more of a chance for a homecoming.
“He hasn’t boxed in the UK for 2 years by the time that fight comes around. And of course, there will be the attraction of Madison Square Garden to return there, because I think that’s a must to return there. He’s got win on Saturday. This fight, I’m not even really looking at the future. I’m thinking, ‘Just win on Saturday,'” said Hearn.
Bringing Kubrat Pulev to Saudi Arabia to fight Joshua would be a waste. That’s a fight that deserves a smaller venue, and it would be out of place in Saudi.
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- Anthony Joshua vs. Kubrat Pulev on December 12th at O2 Arena
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- Josh Taylor vs. Apinun Khongsong this Saturday on Sept.26
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