Preview: Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz

By Robert Ecksel on May 28, 2019
Preview: Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz
“I’m willing to die in the ring to get this victory,” said Andy Ruiz. “I’ll do whatever it takes.”

“It’s what is within you that makes a champion, your genetics, and his genetics are the same—and he took the fight!”

Saturday night at New York’s Madison Square Garden, in a fight streamed live on DAZN in the US and Sky Sports Box Office in the UK, WBA/IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs), the undefeated slugger from Watford, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, will defend his titles against Andy Ruiz Jr. (32-1, 21 KOs), from Imperial, California, the late substitute who replaced Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller when he imploded, in AJ’s long-awaited American debut.

Everyone would rather Joshua were fighting WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, or the lineal heavyweight champ, his countryman Tyson Fury, instead of Ruiz. Discussions between the two titleholders are allegedly ongoing, and if the boxing gods aren’t asleep at the wheel, the talks may actually go somewhere.

Joshua believes a sit-down between him and Wilder will overcome the impasse. Against all odds, it happened with Mayweather-Pacquiao. Who’s to say it can’t happen again?

“I think we should sit down face-to-face and talk about what the issues are man-to-man and get this fight sorted this year,” Wilder said. Whether that transpires time only will tell. But in the meantime, however greedy we might be for a world-class heavyweight championship tilt, we will make do, having no choice or say in the matter, and expect Joshua’s challenger will do better this weekend that Dominic Breazeale did against Wilder and Tom Schwarz will do against Fury.

For all his popularity, Joshua has not yet fought an elite heavyweight at the top of his game, and Ruiz, whatever his gifts, seems unlikely to derail the AJ juggernaut. But Joshua refuses to take him lightly. He doesn’t consider Ruiz a palooka.

“It’s not about what you look like, it’s a craft, a skill, and what’s in your heart and your head matters in the end,” he said. “Andy has shown he has all that, he can fight and box, that’s what matters. I think Andy is a great challenger and will bring it on June 1.

“All I’ve heard is ‘AJ will smash him in a round.’ From the outside they think that anyone can box, so how is the guy that doesn’t look like a fighter able to box? I always say that if you put ten bodybuilders in the ring, not one of them could fight for a regional title in boxing.

“Take me out of my body but keep the same attributes and height, same jab, same chin, same heart and same mind, but I looked different, I’d still get to the same position I am in because it’s what is within you that makes a champion, your genetics, and his genetics are the same—and he took the fight!

“He’s keen, he’s game and you cannot knock him. He can fight and he’s got hands. He gave a world champion in Joseph Parker lots of problems, and when you look at the fight Parker gave Whyte when people are saying Whyte can beat Wilder, Fury and me, Andy is championship level for sure, and I have not underestimated him one bit.”

Ruiz appreciates the encouragement, but not as much as he appreciates his impending date with destiny. He’s been dreaming about this moment since the time he first laced up gloves and intends to make the most of the opportunity.

“Things happen for a reason,” he said, “and the reason is for me to become the first Mexican heavyweight champion of the world. He’s got all the belts and everybody’s trying to fight him. He’s a big money name. I’m here to conquer what he has.

“I come forward and throw combinations that Joshua hasn’t seen. I hit harder than Jarrell Miller, and I’m faster. Knowing what I can do, we’re going to come out victorious.

“I’m willing to die in the ring to get this victory. I’ll do whatever it takes to get it.”

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  1. Old Man-Afraid-of-His-Horses 04:25pm, 05/28/2019

    Willie “Fat Boy” Meehan actually had a win over some guy named Jack Dempsey.  I believe “Fat Boy” even fought the one, the only, the man, the myth, the boxing.com legend himself, Harry “F*cking” Greb.

  2. Old Man-Afraid-of-His-Horses 02:19pm, 05/28/2019

    Don’t underestimate Ruiz. The guy can pop and does carry some speed in his punches as well. While I favor Joshua, anything can happen with heavyweights. Ever seen a skinny, 160lb, 50 year old guy DEEP squat 405lbs over 20 reps and strict overhead press 250lbs plus for 4 reps? Google “Dr. Ken Leistner Legendary Workout” on YouTube. What a motivating video and just proof that you don’t judge a book by its cover. Don’t sell this Ruiz guy cheap.

  3. Robert Ecksel 02:17pm, 05/28/2019

    Grazie.

  4. Your Name 02:02pm, 05/28/2019

    “Ruiz appreciates the encouragement, but not as much has he appreciates his impending date with destiny. He’s been dreaming about this moment since the time he first laced up gloves and intends to make the most of the opportunity.”


    TYPO

  5. Your Name 12:49pm, 05/28/2019

    Slaughter