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Andy Ruiz: “I’m In This To Win It”

Posted on 05/30/2019

By: Sean Crose

“It just gives me more motivation,” says heavyweight title challenger Andy Ruiz, “all the guys talking crap.” Ruiz, whose record currently stands at 32-1 is oozing confidence on the eve of his bout with divisional kingpin Anthony Joshua this Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York. “I don’t know if they are mad,” he says, “because I have got this opportunity, but I don’t have anything bad to say about anyone, I talk in the ring with my fists. I’m so mentally strong and prepared for this fight that I don’t care what people have to say.”

The 33 year old, who fought as recently as last April, is a replacement for Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller, who positive tested his way out of the Joshua fight when banned substances were found in his system. With that in mind, Ruiz knows he is the underdog walking into the ring this weekend. “A lot of people underestimate me,” he says. “Like I said, the way I look, my appearance, but as soon as they see me throw punches, I’m going to pull out the upset. This is what I have worked for my whole life, I’m here to take what Anthony has. I’m ready to shock the world.”

Ruiz, whose one loss was a 2016 majority decision defeat to Joseph Parker, has since gone on to win three in a row. Still, the heavyweight division is now dominated by the personalities of Joshua, Deontay Wilder, and Tyson Fury, who seem to draw in all of the public’s and the media’s attention. Ruiz is eager to make people take notice. “People will see what I can do,” Ruiz says. “It’s going to be an all action fight, with two big guys punching each other in the face, hard. I’m in this to win it. Everyone else that has fought him (Joshua) has lost before they get in there, I’m not thinking like that, and that’s the difference.”

In an era where most top fighters arguably don’t want to fight any more than once or twice a year, Ruiz feels that he’s going to be sharp walking in, having just fought several weeks ago. “The most important thing is to win and prove to the fans that I belong at this elite level,” he says. “I’m not going to chase the KO but I know that it’s there if I execute my combinations. I’m feeling good and ready, AJ hasn’t boxed for nine months and I’m sharper than ever and very motivated.”

Perhaps more than anything else, Ruiz feels that it’s his courage that can win him Joshua’s numerous heavyweight titles. “He’s big,” Ruiz says of the 22-0 WBA, WBO, and IBF heavyweight titlist, “but the advantages I have are in speed, movement and coming forward. Everyone AJ fights is scared. I’m not scared of anyone apart from the Man upstairs. There’s a lot of doubters out there but I don’t care, they only give me more motivation and confidence.”

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