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Andy Ruiz Jr: ‘I feel I do need to get the knockout’ against Joshua

Andy Ruiz Jr thinks he can win by decision, but also feels he needs the knockout.

Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Andy Ruiz Jr (32-1, 21 KO) is set to face Anthony Joshua for Joshua’s WBA, IBF, and WBO heavyweight titles this Saturday night, live on DAZN.

He spoke with media after today’s final press conference.

On whether or not he’s sensitive about being called fat

“Yeah, at one point I was a little sensitive about it, when I was young. I was always this big kid, since I was a little kid. My first amateur fight, I was seven years old. There was no kids at my weight at that age, so I always had to fight older guys and men, because I was always a bigger guy than everybody else.

“It took a little bit to get used to it, but it kinda gave me the extra motivation to keep pursuing my dream. It would put me down at times, but I would just block out the negative to the side and just pursue me.”

On this fight coming at the right time

“I just got done fighting Dimitrenko on April 20, so it wasn’t too far. I was already in shape. After we were done with that camp we pursued another camp, so I think it all came in place.”

On what he has to do differently against Joshua

“Just let my hands go, have fun, and do what I do best, and that’s get the victory.”

On giving away height normally and getting inside

“The movement, the speed, the pressure — all that’s going to come together. He’s never fought somebody that pressures him. I don’t know how he fights going backwards, but our job is just to stick to the game plan.”

“He’s tall. He’s a good fighter. I don’t have nothing bad to say about him. But with the speed that I have and the movement that I have, whatever he tries to do, it’s going to make it difficult for him.”

On whether or not he needs a KO

“I feel I do need to get the knockout. Hopefully we do get the knockout. If not, being busy, letting my hands go, throwing the combinations — we can win by decision.”

On which of Joshua’s fight shows vulnerability

“All the guys he’s fought that are shorter than him. Carlos Takam, I think he did really good in that fight. Dillian Whyte. But we looked at the Takam fight and with my speed and the abilities I have, I think it’s going to be more of an exciting fight than that.”

On looking back on being picked on if he wins

“At one moment, I wanted to give up. At one moment, I was listening to those doubters telling me, ‘You’re too big to be on the big stage, you’re too big to become a champion.’ If anything I’m going to be remembering that and be like, ‘Yeah, I told you guys, I told you so.’ As long as you follow your dreams and work hard, anything is possible.”

“My dad always believed in me, man. If it wasn’t for my dad, I wouldn’t be right here at this moment. From me being a big troublemaker when I was in high school and when I was a little kid — he would embarrass me, he’d go to my friends parents house looking for me, like, ‘Hey you gotta go train,’ but it helped me a lot.”

On what he vIsUaLiZeS

“I visualize when me and AJ are fighting, a good fight, something that people didn’t think it was going to be such an exciting fight, and my hand raised. I don’t really predict the knockout. It comes when it comes. We’re just gonna go out there and stick to the game plan.”

On not getting overwhelmed by the moment

“Stay focused, stay humble, remind yourself what you’re here for, that’s to make history.”

On being a troublemaker as a kid

“I was like a little gangster when I was young. I had my head bald and hanging around with the wrong cliques. But boxing saved my life. It kept making me go back to train. There was something about boxing that made me go back and back, and I think it was the purpose that got me here to this stage. ... Just hanging around with the wrong people, doing the bad things. I don’t wanna say what things I would do. ... I have (had trouble with the law), but boxing kept me away from getting in major trouble. ... Ever since my dad took me to Mexico City, that’s when I joined the Mexican Olympic team. That’s when everything changed and my mind was on a different level. I was like 15, 16 years old. That’s when I started getting serious.”

On Joshua maybe being distracted by the Wilder situation

“I think right now he’s looking past me. I think he should be focused on this fight first. Anything can happen in this boxing game. It only takes one punch to change the fight, and I’m here to do that.”

Bad Left Hook will have live coverage for Joshua vs Ruiz on Saturday, June 1, live at 5:30 pm ET streaming on DAZN

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