After the wait to find out Anthony Joshua’s June 1st opponent, fans and media have been hearing from the man himself, Andy Ruiz Jr, who was announced as the challenger for Joshua’s WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles yesterday.
“The chills, I’m really excited for this fight, there’s nervousness in me, but they’re happy nerves. This is my chance to make history, I want to be one of those greats like Chavez, Tyson, Holyfield, Lennox Lewis. I want to be in that category. Thanks to God for everything that he put in me, I just can’t wait”.
“I think the fight is going toe-to-toe, two guys smashing each other’s faces. I’m going in there to throw combinations like I’ve never done before, to improve my speed. A lot of people underestimated me, and I’m used to that. My whole life people underrated me so I’m just going in there to take all. I’m not going in there scared and I’m not going in there nervous, I’m going to go in there mad and to take what’s mine”.
“I think being so tall he fights like a big robot. I think with my style, my speed, my movement, I don’t think he’s fought anybody like me. It’s going to be a whole different ball game. All the guys that he’s fought, they usually run around from him. I don’t think he’s good going back. I’m going to bring the pressure, the speed, and the combinations to him”.
“When I do pull out this win, everything is going to change. I’m going to bring the titles back to Mexico, it’s going to mean everything. I’m going to be able to change my whole family’s lives; my life and all my kids. It’s a win-win situation right now, but the main thing is to win the fight and make history”.
As for the champion Joshua, finally knowing his opponent will allow for more structured sparring sessions. Preparing for the 300lb Jarrell Miller required a certain type of sparring partners, but the fast feet and hands of Ruiz Jr will require a totally different style to be brought into camp.
Speaking about his new challenger, Joshua said “Ruiz is a different kind of challenge but one I embrace, we have worked in the boxing gym week on week and whomever is put in front of me at Madison Square Garden on June 1 will be dispatched in style. The rent will be collected”.
Ruiz Jr boxed five competitive rounds against Alexander Dimitrenko on the Danny Garcia vs Adrian Granados card in Carson, California on April 20th, so will still be in relatively good shape from that fight. With a month still to go until his big opportunity, Ruiz Jr can sharpen up and be ready for battle knowing he is ready.