Oleksandr Usyk’s Win Over Anthony Joshua Motivates Andy Ruiz
Former unified heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz (34-2, 22 KOs) had a keen eye on Anthony Joshua’s September 25th loss to now unified champion Oleksandr Usyk. After all, Ruiz has twice been in the ring with Joshua and gave him the first defeat of his pro career.
In June 2019, he scored a shocking seventh round TKO over “AJ” to unify three of the four major titles. After scoring one of the more shocking wins in recent memory, the fighter nicknamed “Destroyer” unfortunately lived it up and partied a bit too hard. He lost discipline and subsequently put on a lot of weight. That proved to be his downfall in a rematch with Joshua, who defeated him in December of that year.
Ruiz would love to win another world title. During an interview with FightHype, the 32-year-old gave his thoughts on Joshua vs Usyk, analyzing what went wrong with the former unified champion.
“Every fighter has to take responsibility for themselves. You know? I think it was the wrong strategy, and I think he underestimated him. Also, I think Anthony Joshua is still there, still strong, but he kind of feels scared and was holding back a little bit.
Maybe it was the lefty of Usyk, his style, and how he moved. They were throwing one, two, three punches, but I thought they could have done a little better. But congratulations to Usyk.”
With Joshua’s loss, the heavyweight division has suddenly become wide open. Ruiz believes he can put himself in a position to take advantage.
“It is good news. There are a lot more opportunities. A lot more things too that we could switch up and have different opponents. It’s crazy, man. I thought Anthony Joshua was going to win against Usyk, and I’m pretty sure it’s a 50/50 fight with Fury and Wilder. That’s a really good fight. I’m going to be there. Good luck to both of them.”
LEARNING FROM YOUR MISTAKES
Ranked in the top ten by all four of the world sanctioning organizations, Ruiz’ last outing was a hard-fought victory over a fading Chris Arreola in May. Following that win, he had surgery for a torn meniscus. Now recovered, the hope is to fight again in December, with the ultimate goal of getting back into the world title hunt in 2022.
“That’s exactly why we’re back in the gym. That’s why after surgery, I came back to the gym trying to get prepared. I don’t want to make the same mistakes I did for my second fight with Anthony Joshua. So, my mind is focused on getting those belts back.”
By: Michael Wilson Jr.