By: Hans Themistode
Andy Ruiz Jr (33-1, 22 KOs) is currently all the way across the world in Saudi Arabia. On December 7th, he’ll be looking to prove that his June 1st contest against Anthony Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) was no fluke.
Ruiz pulled off the unthinkable when he stopped Joshua in the seventh round of their contest at Madison Square Garden, in New York City. In doing so, he lifted the IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO Heavyweight titles.
Since winning, Ruiz has been seen wearing flashy jewelry, riding around in expensive cars and even upgraded to a much bigger home due to the payday he had received. Whispers has since circulated that maybe the fame and fortune has gotten to his head. Ruiz on the other hand has assured everyone that he hasn’t changed in the slightest.
“I’m still the same Andy Ruiz,” said Ruiz. “I’m still the same chubby little fat kid with the big dream. I’m still that person”.
It’s a bit difficult to visualize Ruiz as the Heavyweight champion wouldn’t you agree?
It isn’t because of his skill set as Ruiz is easily one of, if not the best boxer in the entire division. It also is not because of his appearance. Too much is being made of his tubby and stout body.
The reason why it is difficult to envision Ruiz as the Heavyweight champion of the world is because of his demeanor. Former champion Anthony Joshua had a mean streak in him that was apparent time and time again. Current WBC belt holder Deontay Wilder symbolizes fear more than anyone else. Ruiz on the other hand, is just about the nicest young man you will ever meet in your life.
With that being said however, don’t take his mr. nice guy attitude for weakness. Not only is he a cold blooded killer once he steps foot in the ring, but fight fans can expect him to be the same ferocious fighter come fight night.
“Inside the ring, I’m the champion of the world. I’m Mr Hulk in there and I’ve still got a lot to accomplish. This journey now is what I’ve been dreaming about all my life. I accomplished my dreams on June 1 and I’ve still got a lot to prove on Dec 7. Fight fans are going to see the same thing [in Saudi Arabia] they saw on June 1. The guy with big dreams going in there to dominate and to be heavyweight champion. Of course, they’re going to see a lot of fireworks. If he knocks me down, I’m going to get up and knock him down. I know he’ll try to do the same if I knock him down. The main thing is to stay focused and disciplined.”
With one of the biggest upsets in boxing history already in his possession, don’t expect Ruiz to simply walk in with the same game plan. Anthony Joshua was a proud champion and is as motivated as ever to regain his championship glory.
“He is going to try to make adjustments,” said Ruiz. “I don’t know if he wants to exchange punches, but I’d love for him to do that because I’m the more skilled boxer. He’ll try to box me round and use his jab. But for how long? How long can he keep me away from hunting him down? That’s what we’ve been working on most of all right now, heading into the fight. I want to impose myself in this fight, but I don’t want to overlook him. He’s still a dangerous fighter. I respect him and all the fighters who risk their lives inside the ring. He’s going to have some tricks up his sleeve and it’s my job to not let that affect me. The main thing is pressure, throw combinations and use my speed. I can’t let him grow balls in there.”
It’s an interesting choice of words from Ruiz. If Joshua intends to reclaim his titles, he will have to do the one thing that Ruiz hopes does not happen, and that is to grow some balls in the ring.
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