Mexican-American heavyweight boxing champion Andy Ruiz Jr (L) faces British boxing challenger Anthony Joshua during a press conference ahead of the upcoming “Clash on the Dunes” fight between Ruiz Jr and Joshua in December, in Diriya on the western outskirts of the Saudi capital Riyadh on September 4, 2019. – The “Clash on the Dunes” is scheduled to take place in Diriya on December 7. (Photo by Fayez Nureldine / AFP)
When Andy Ruiz first met Anthony Joshua in June for their heavyweight showdown, there was a moment during the promotion of the fight in which the British boxer just handed over his belts to Ruiz and his trainer Manny Robles as both parties posed with Joshua’s WBO, WBA, IBF and IBO belts, reports boxingscene.com.
Turns out, it was a sign of things to come, as Ruiz snatched the belts in emphatic fashion once they squared off in the ring and scored a come-from-behind victory over Joshua that is still frontrunner for upset of the year.
Ruiz (33-1, 22 KOs) continued his victory lap with a personal press conference, meet and greet with fans and open workout Saturday at The Boxing Club East Village in San Diego as he further ramped up the promotion of his anticipated rematch with Joshua on Dec. 7 in Saudi Arabia on DAZN.
When asked if he will return the favour of the photo op to Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) this time around, Ruiz said he had no intentions of playing nice for the cameras.
“Hell no. He has to win me first [to hold my belts]. These are mine,” quipped Ruiz. “I feel that he has more pressure than I do … When I win the rematch, everyone is going to know that this was not a fluke and I’m the real deal — just a little big kid with a dream.”
Ruiz has been training in recent weeks in Guadalajara, Mexico in high altitude and has now returned to Southern California where he will resume preparation at the Legendz Boxing in Los Angeles. His goal is to lose 10 pounds so he can feel lighter on his feet and chase Joshua around the ring should he have to win the match by decision.
In their first fight at the Madison Square Garden in New York, Ruiz brushed off a knockdown in a toe-to-toe fight to dominate Joshua with four knockdowns en route to a seventh-round finish.
“The main thing that I have to do is to let my hands go and throw my combinations,” said Ruiz. “Boxing is my life. This is the only thing that I know how to do.
“Everyone has a dream, but it’s our job to fulfill them. With hard work, dedication and sacrifice, anything is possible. Everyone thought that I was going to do nothing and lose in the first few rounds, but having that will and motivation inside me that I want to do something great helped me accomplish and become the first Mexican heavyweight champion of the world. It’s about having the right team and the right spirits around you.”