By Kenneth Friedman: Andy Ruiz Jr . (33-1, 22 KOs) says he already knows what Anthony Joshua’s game plan will be on Saturday, and he says he’s got to make sure he doesn’t let get away with that. Ruiz , 30, says he’s going to attack Joshua, keep him under pressure at all times, and let his hands go.
(Photo credit Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing)
The Matchroom promoted Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) will be challenging Ruiz in a direct rematch on Saturday night on DAZN and Sky Box Office at the Diriyah Arena, in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. Joshua’s aim is to win back his IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight titles, and most importantly his status as one of the top fighters in the division.
Andy Ruiz Jr: Joshua is going to try and box around
“We had a longer preparation than we did for June 1st,” said Ruiz. “I’m pretty sure he has a good game plan up his sleeve, but what we’re doing is going to be perfect for his style for what he’s going to try to do. I don’t want to predict a knockout. The main thing is, I’m going to do whatever I can to get that victory.
“I think he’s going to be boxing around, using his distance, and try to jab be around. But it’s my job for me to not let him do that. It can go either way. It can be harder or easier. I just need to let my hands go. It really doesn’t matter where the fight is going to be at, but I think it was a good decision coming over here to Saudi Arabia,” said Ruiz.
Andy has already established that Joshua can’t handle his fire power in a slugfest, and he clearly lacks the engine to fight hard for 3 minutes of every round. It’s pretty clear to everyone that Joshua is going to box Ruiz, and try and control the fight with his long reach. ‘
He’s going to TRY to do what he did in the Joseph Parker fight, but he’s going to add a few wrinkles to his game. We’ll see a lot of holding, jabbing, and some pushing off by Joshua.
Joshua: I’m calm and ready to rock & roll
“I don’t know about home advantage, because it’s a fight, isn’t it?” said Joshua. “I don’t think home advantage matters, especially at this weight in the heavyweight division. Wherever it was going to be, I’m going to go in there with the mindset that I’m a winner. Do I? I still think I look solid,” said Joshua when told that he looks trim.
“I’m gym ready. I’m good in a boxing gym. I feel good. I haven’t really been focusing on my weight. I’ve been focusing on my boxing. I’m calm. I’m ready to rock and roll Saturday. He’s going to be ready to rumble, come out quick and try to land combination punches. That’s about it, really,” said Joshua.
During the interview, Joshua DIDN’T look at all calm. He seemed defensive, as if he had a chip on his shoulder, and was trying to put up a strong front. The contrast between how Ruiz carried himself and how Joshua did was like night and day. It seems to bother Joshua that he lost to Ruiz last June, and he’s not taking a relaxed open attitude about the rematch.
The way Joshua was speaking, he acted like he’d already lost the fight. He was a completely different person than he was going into the first fight. Now that the aura of invincibility has been pierced, Joshua acts like he’s not confident anymore. I think he realizes that he’s a flawed fighter, who was never as good as his promoter said he was.