ANDY RUIZ JNR, the new WBA, IBF and WBO world heavyweight champion, has warned Anthony Joshua to get ready for more of the same when the pair share a ring for a second time later this year, though admits he might be half the man he used to be.
Mexico’s first heavyweight champion was criticised for his shape ahead of the first Joshua fight on June 1 in New York, tipping the scales at 268 pounds, and Ruiz himself admits it wasn’t an ideal weight. Some called him unfit and unprofessional. Others said he didn’t care.
Even so, despite the extra mass, Ruiz had the last laugh when dropping Joshua multiple times and eventually halting him in the sixth round.
Next time, when aiming to prove the shock on June 1 was no fluke, Ruiz expects to be lighter but produce the same kind of performance.
“The rematch is going to be the same,” he said during a parade in the city of Imperial. “I am going to be more prepared and more ready.
“I know his flaws. I can do a lot better. The only thing that he can do is just run around. He’s not good at boxing.
“People thought I wasn’t going to do anything, I was too big, too overweight. I don’t want to say all the things I am going to change.
“There is going to be a lot of changing. I am going to come at a better weight this time. It’s going to be a hell of a fight.”
Part of what Ruiz’s first win over Joshua so shocking and compelling was the very fact he appeared relatable – some would say out of shape – and that he got the job done with skill, heart and determination more than anything else. But he knows the same approach won’t cut it in the rematch.
No longer the overlooked underdog, Ruiz realises the key to repeating the trick in the rematch lies in his professionalism, his commitment and his dedication. If he gets all that right, he could be equipped to shock the world all over again.