By: Hans Themistode
Throughout the career of Anthony Joshua, he has been known as a knockout artist. Before stepping into the ring against Andy Ruiz Jr on June 1st, earlier this year, Joshua stopped 22 of the 21 opponents he had stepped inside of the against. The lone survivor of his onslaught was former WBO belt holder Joseph Parker.
Joshua’s penchant for knockouts has always been apparent, but for the rematch between Joshua and Ruiz which will take place in Saudi Arabia, this Saturday on December 7th, Ruiz believes Joshua will try to simply out box him as opposed to slug it out with him as he did before.
“I’m expecting that,” said Ruiz Jr. “But if he wants to bang, it’s better for me. I love to bang because that’s the fighter that I am. December 7th, we have to pressure, work the body, break him down. Especially his mentality. People haven’t seen me cut off the ring. I actually break them down even faster when they try to box me around. We all have a plan until we get hit, like Mike Tyson would say. I’m pretty sure he will want to box me around.”
Recent pictures of Joshua have fueled Ruiz’s speculation. The eye catching muscles that Joshua has become known for has been mostly stripped away.
The critics have come out in droves throughout the career of Joshua to question whether or not he should actually carry around so much muscle. Before the Ruiz contest, the critics had no ground to stand on. Now that he has tasted defeat however, the former champion has decided that the time was right to make a change.
Yet, this new, more slimmed down version of Joshua will have no impact on the results come Saturday night. For Ruiz, Joshua can change his physique as much as he wants. It simply comes down to Joshua having issues with the sort of fighter that Ruiz is once he steps foot in the ring.
“I don’t think he likes fighting against that style. I don’t think he’s ever fought a short guy that pressures, and is pretty slick. I felt like I was boxing him around even though I was the shorter guy. I was counter-punching him. When he would throw, I would throw back with more punches. He saw something that he’s never seen before. People said before, who would you rather fight: Joshua, Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury? I always said Joshua because of his style. Styles make fights. His style was perfect for me to become the unified Heavyweight Champion.”
Although Ruiz is the first Mexican born fighter in history to win a Heavyweight world title, he doesn’t feel any pressure to hold on to his belts. Don’t misconstrue that statement. Ruiz isn’t looking for simply his 15 minutes of fame and be discarded and forgotten. However, with everyone doubting him once again, he doesn’t mind his current position.
“We’ve got to see where he’s at because all the pressure is on him. The pressure isn’t on me because I followed my dream, made my dreams come true. Of course I want more though – I want the legacy of Andy Ruiz Jr.”
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