Unified heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua met up in Saudi Arabia today for what was the final press conference leading into their highly anticipated rematch this weekend.
With a fight of this magnitude taking place in Saudi, Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn brought on stage at least one individual who was responsible for ponying up the dough for this fight. That part I don’t particularly care about, so I’ll skip right to what the fighters themselves had to say, starting with Joshua will be coming into this fight as the challenger for the first time in a while — although he doesn’t necessarily see it that way.
“It’s interesting to be on this side of the table,” Joshua would say. “As you’ve said, in my 16th fight I challenged for the world title, challenged for the world title again, challenged again with Joseph Parker, and now I’m challenging for the world title again. That’s my fourth title challenge in a short space of time. But I’m used to this position and even as a champion, Andy as a respected heavyweight knows that you always have to the challenger mindset.”
“I’ve been boxing a while now, and when I come into boxing I didn’t really come to take part, I came to take over...Like the focus has always been there but I never had a chance to reflect...I’m not here to put on a show, I’m just here to win.
“Like even looking at that board up there [displaying the card’s lineup] I fought Molina, Povetkin, Ruiz, Dillian...I’ve sparred with Tom Little, I’ve sparred with Mariusz Wach — I’ve been around this block in this game in a short space in time so I just really have to understand that I’m definitely experienced, I know what I’m doing, and through reflection in my own time I realized that me and Andy are very different but the only thing all of us in this room have in common is time. I just have to use my time very wisely.”
Shortly after Andy Ruiz Jr. shared some of his thoughts on the rematch.
“It’s been a long three months in camp, I’ve been training really hard for this moment, just like June 1st, you know. I made my dreams come true, I made this dream, and I think the important thing is to remain to make history on December 7th in Saudi Arabia. I appreciate everybody, all the supporters that I have right here — I was surprised with so many fans that I had here so I was really blessed about that. There’s really not much to say besides I’m ready to rock ‘n roll. And I know AJ’s gonna come with a different game plan and I know he’s prepared, I know that he’s motivated so I think that’s what gives me the extra edge of being more motivated, being more cautious.
“I know he lost weight, I know he’s gonna try to box me around but it’s just my job to prevent that, you know. So I’m ready for whatever comes my way and I’m ready to rock n’ roll.”
Check out the full press conference video above.