Joshua Confident He Will Reclaim Crown From Ruiz in Saudi Arabia
Anthony Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) is confident of winning back his IBF, WBA, and WBO heavyweight championships in his rematch with Andy Ruiz (33-1, 22 KOs) this December in Saudi Arabia. The former Olympian told Sky Sports he will beat the Mexican emphatically,
“I’m fighting the best man in the world now! I’m going to whoop him, and show how great I am.”
Anthony Joshua – Former Unified Heavyweight Champion
Joshua’s fighting words come on the heels of Ruiz suggesting to Sky Sports that the Brit’s punches didn’t bother him. The unified champ even dismissed his third round knockdown as being caused by “a lucky” left hook from Joshua.
“I got lazy. It was a punch in the blink of an eye. I wasn’t that hurt because I wasn’t wobbling. I still had the will and the fire inside of me.”
Andy Ruiz – Unified Heavyweight Champion
Why a rematch is taking place
That will and fire carried Ruiz to a shocking 7th round TKO win over Joshua, who was the heavy favorite going into the fight. Our very own Corey Cunningham pegged Joshua to win via a mid-to late-round stoppage. Cunningham described Joshua as being “a higher level fighter” with circumstances “heavily in his favor.”
In the end Ruiz’s heart and durability, which Cunningham noted would make the fight compelling, prevailed. Joshua’s defeat to Ruiz is considered by Ladbrokes as one of combat sports biggest upsets, on par with James Douglas upsetting Mike Tyson in 1990 and Hasim Rahman stunning Lennox Lewis in 2001 (both via stoppages, too).
Crucially Ruiz ruined Joshua’s much-anticipated debut on U.S. soil. The unexpected result is why this rematch is taking place.
Joshua’s shot at redemption
Joshua is going all-out for redemption with his shock loss in June seemingly galvanizing him in the lead-up to the rematch. In a September press conference promoting Ruiz-Joshua II, the challenger admitted to doing “everything wrong,” then vowed to “get it right” in December.
Joshua also noted that he is only thinking about Ruiz at the moment. When asked about his mindset regarding the rematch:
“I’m not hearing about another fight.
“I’m only hearing about Ruiz and that’s a blessing. I know I’m getting ready to fight that wolf under sheep’s clothing. I’m preparing myself mentally for what’s about to come.”
Plenty of talk
There has been plenty of talk from both men. Ruiz has talked smack to the erstwhile ex-Olympian whenever he’s had the chance. In October the champ said that Joshua will do lots of running in the rematch, and will try to win on points. Ruiz has vowed to “cut the ring and do what I got to do [and] let my hands go”.
All this talking will come to an end at Ruiz-Joshua 2: Clash on the Dunes. It will be held on December 7 at Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah Stadium and streamed live on DAZN.