Andy Ruiz Jr shocked Anthony Joshua in June, taking his three heavyweight titles, and says there will be no friends and no respect when they meet again in December in Riyadh
Andy Ruiz Jr knows. Knows people sneer that he got lucky in June when his left fist clattered into Anthony Joshuas temple like a wrecking ball, discombobulating not only his opponent but the millions watching. Knows that many in the trade believe he has got lazy since becoming the first Mexican to win a world heavyweight title. Knows, too, that most expect his Cinderella reign to end as abruptly as Buster Douglass did after he shocked Mike Tyson.
But as Ruiz begins training camp for his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight rematch against Joshua in Saudi Arabia on 7 December, he insists he is even hungrier now. Im still a nice guy, he says. I still respect Anthony Joshua. Im still a fan of what he has done in boxing. But inside the ring, as Ive told him, theres no friends, theres no respect, its just me and you, trying to rip each others face off. In my eyes, when Im in the ring I feel hes there trying to take my kids Cheerios, their fruit juice. Thats what gives me the extra motivation.
Since becoming heavyweight champion, Ruiz has bought himself a new house, a Rolls Royce and plenty of chunky and expensive jewellery. But this is all material stuff, he insists. Yes, its stuff I always wanted. But what I really want is a legacy, not just 15 minutes of fame. The main thing is that I remain humble, stay disciplined, stay training and continue to be champion.
The best thing, he insists, about his new life is that he no longer has to struggle to pay my bills, the land bills, water bills, electricity, stuff like that although meeting the Mexican president, Andrs Manuel Lpez, after stopping Joshua in the seventh round was also special. It meant a lot, he says. People asked me if I wanted to go and visit the White House but I said I wanted to visit the Mexican White House. It was a beautiful experience.
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