By Kenneth Friedman: Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua met for the final stop on Friday for their 3-country press tour to talk about their rematch on December 7 in SAudi Arabia. The difference between the expressiveness on the two faces of the fighters was hard to miss.
While Ruiz (33-1, 22 KOs) was all smiles and telling jokes, Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) looked emotionless without any expression on his face while on stage. Ruiz has been fighting since he was six-years-old, and this is all he knows, he says. That’s perhaps why he doesn’t treat his fight with Joshua likes it’s some arduous task that he has to take on. This is all fun and game for Ruiz.
Ruiz: It’s going to take a lot for Joshua to retake what’s mine
“I’m fighting in the rematch. I made my dreams come true,” said Ruiz to Fighthype. “Of course, we want more. It’s not really about the money. Rather, it’s about the legacy. It’s about fighting for my people and it’s about being the heavyweight champion, especially being the heavyweight champion of the world that Mexico never had until now. It’s going to take so much for him to re-take what’s mine. I’m going to do everything I can, and everything possible to win on December 7th.
A little bit but as my trainer said, he’s never fought nobody like me,” said Ruiz Jr. when asked if he was surprised at how fragile Joshua looked after he hurt him in round 3. “I’ve been doing this since I was six years-old, and this is the only thing I know how to do, and it finally paid off. We were still negotiating, and I was waiting for Al Haymon to give me the okay. That’s when I knew it was going to be over there. It was better for me not to post anything, because it got them thinking too much,” said Ruiz.
Ruiz Jr. wants to face Deontay Wilder next
“It was not a lucky punch, but it was a punch from the Gods, because I’ve been praying and dreaming of my dreams to come true,” said Ruiz. “Of course, me and [Deontay] Wilder are on the same team,” said Ruiz when asked if he’d like to fight WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder next if he beats Joshua again. “I’m just missing one belt, and he’s missing four. I just have to focus on December 7th, and win that fight, and then I can talk about other opponents. Yes, he [Saul Canelo Alvarez] is going to go over there and support me,” said Ruiz about Canelo Alvarez traveling to SAudi Arabia to give him support.
WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder must get past Tyson Fury in their rematch on February 22 next year before he can fight the winner of the Joshua-Ruiz fight. Wilder had talked recently of fighting a rematch against Luis Ortiz in November, but it’s unknown whether those two will be facing each other in that month. It’s already September, and there still isn’t a set date for the Wilder-Ortiz 2 rematch.
🗣”I’m so glad that fight fell through.” 😂@AnthonyfJoshua talks about the Gloves Are Off that never was…
Don’t worry AJ, we got you bro 😂😂
Gloves Are Off: Ruiz v Joshua 2 – Coming Soon to Sky Sports! pic.twitter.com/l632Z5ZwU5
It’s more likely than not that Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KO) won’t fight again until his rematch with Fury next February. There’s too much risk for Wilder to take on the southpaw Ortiz again, and there’s not a lot of interest from fans in that fight.
Hearn: It was about money for Ruiz
“It was all about money. It’s always about money,” said Eddie Hearn to IFL TV in what he had to do to make Ruiz agree to fighting Joshua in SAudi Arabia. “Obviously, we had to enforce ourselves a little bit legally, but it was always about how much ‘extra we could get.’ But the message from their team ways always, ‘we’re not going to Cardiff.’ Could we have enforced it? Yeah, but it would have been messy. So that helped us decide on a neutral venue, and the deal was good as well. One of the benefits Ruiz had for the last fight was he went straight into the camp from the [Alexander] Dimitrenko fight into the AJ fight. These two purses will change his life forever to make sure he’ll be sweet for the rest of his life, and so will his children and his family,” said Hearn.