Oscar De La Hoya: Anthony Joshua will be HUNGRY & determined on Saturday
By Barry Holbrook: Oscar De La Hoya is giving Anthony Joshua a good shot of winning back his belts against Andy Ruiz Jr. in their second fight this Saturday night. The Golden Boy Promotions head De La Hoya expects Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) to come into this fight much more focused, hungry and determined to win than last time he fought Ruiz (33-1, 22 KOs) on June 1.
De La Hoya notes Joshua’s eyes didn’t look right, and he seemed to be before he’d even entered the ring for the match. It wasn’t the Joshua we’d seen many times before in his career. Whether that was because Joshua was fighting in the United States for the first time or due to him being unmotivated is unknown.
Joshua didn’t look good from the beginning – De La Hoya
“Andy gets released by Top Rank, and this is the American dream,” said De La Hoya to esnewsreporting about Ruiz’s fight with Joshua. “He’s got that chance against the goliath of boxing against this huge. And he’s a big strong guy. He’s like an action figure, and he knocks him out.
It was pretty impressive. What was most impressive about Ruiz is he took that punch, you know? Once he took that punch, Joshua said, ‘Oh my gosh, he’s getting back up. I got myself into some trouble here.
“You have to analyze the fight again, because Joshua from the beginning, he didn’t look good. His eyes, something was off. It’s going to be a different fight. Both mentalities are going to be different. Joshua is going to be hungry, he’s going to be determined, and he’s going to be focused.
There were rumors about Joshua suffering a panic attack in the dressing room moments before he made his ring walk for the Ruiz fight, and that could be an explanation for him not looking right. Although AJ’s promoter Eddie Hearn has dismissed the idea of Joshua having suffered a stress attack, the fact remains that he looked SPACED OUT when he entered the ring last June. Joshua had that 1000-yard stare after walking into the ring. He looked doomed.
Now that Joshua is no longer fighting in the U.S, and he knows what it’s like to fight Ruiz, he should be more relaxed this time. Saudi Arabia is essentially Joshua fighting in the UK. It’s believed that most of the expected 15,000 boxing fans that are making the trip to Saudi are from the UK, and that’s going to give Joshua an advantage that he didn’t have against Ruiz in their first fight last June in New York.
De La Hoya: Is fame getting to Ruiz?
“Has Ruiz been doing too much? If you can’t handle that fame, and that pressure, it might get you just a bit,” said De La Hoya. “It’s not enough to get to Ruiz. I think Ruiz might have his number. So it’s going to be interesting. A lot of times when you’re fighting a fighter that is low, it’s harder to hit the fighter, because he just bobs-and-weaves.
“When I was fighting, it was easier for me to throw high. So Ruiz is going to be throwing those looping punches. So I think he might land and knock him out again,” said De La Hoya.
Ruiz says he’s focused on the fight, but he’s purchased a lot of stuff with the money that he made in beating Joshua. Andy bought a big mansion, Rolls Royce automobile, and a lot of other stuff in the short amount of time since his fight.
Ruiz has had a lot of distractions with his newfound fame, and his life has changed. With the distractions, comes pressure for him to succeed, and he didn’t have that before.
Ruiz put a lot of weight on in the immediate aftermath of his fight with Joshua, and he’s taken all of it off quickly. Some believe that Ruiz took too much weight off, and it’ll hurt his performance against Joshua. Though Joshua took off weight too, he needed to. He’s the one that lost. There was reason for Joshua to change, but not Ruiz.
Joshua needs to box Andy Ruiz – says Khan
“He needs to go back to boxing. If he can be smart, use his jab, keeps it long, then I think the knockout will come,” said Khan to skysports.com.
“I think what won him the Olympics was boxing, and I think what won him the world titles against (Wladimir) Klitschko and everyone else was boxing and being smart.”
Joshua likely knows that he’s going to need to get back to his Olympic ways by fighting smart, and not trading with Ruiz. Joshua wasn’t going to war with Ruiz until AFTER he hurt him in round 3. Before that, Joshua was boxing Ruiz, and doing well.
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