The Guardian in UK has reported that Andy Ruiz Jr has denied becoming complacent since shocking the world to become the heavyweight champion – and promised he will be slicker and faster for Saturday night’s rematch with Anthony Joshua.
Ruiz celebrated winning the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight belts by buying five cars – including two types of Mercedes G-Class, a Rolls Royce and a Lamborghini as well as a truck for his parents – but says his competitive fire rages brighter than ever.
While the Mexican-American expects Joshua to come in much lighter in their second fight in a bid to outmanoeuvre him, he predicts another stoppage.
“We’ve been training on being small, being more slick, applying pressure, throwing combinations and being first to the punch,” Ruiz said. “I know he is going to try to box me around, that’s why he has lost some weight. He’ll try to keep me away with the jab but that’s exactly what we’ve been practising for.
“I think he will box around nicely for four or five rounds until I take the pressure to him, start hitting his body and mixing it up. He’s not good enough to avoid me for the full 12 rounds on the back foot. We’ve been working on this for around three months now and I know, whatever he brings, we will be ready for it.”
Ruiz admitted that part of his tactics have involved enraging Joshua by calling him a quitter for spitting out his gumshield in their first fight. “I am pretty sure he was mad at me,” he said, “but that is what I felt in my heart, he spat his mouthpiece out and quit.
“I respect the man outside the ring. I would always hug him and shake his hand, so it’s all about respect. But I want him to be mad and swinging in the ring, I want him to have that attitude because I will be calm and know exactly what we need to do.”
Ruiz, who expects to weigh just over 19st again as he did for the first fight with Joshua, also revealed he had been talking to the WBC champion, Deontay Wilder, about a unification fight. “Me and Wilder actually talk on the phone, we are good friends,” he said. “We know what is in the plan.”