Ruiz Rues Three-Month Party As Joshua Avenges Loss

 

 

Andy Ruiz blamed three months of partying for his one-sided world heavyweight championship defeat to Anthony Joshua on Saturday, admitting he had failed to train seriously for his first title defense.

The 30-year-old Mexican-American stunned the world in June when he floored Joshua four times on the way to a sensational upset victory in their first fight at Madison Square Garden.

Ruiz had drawn gasps of disbelief on Friday when the weigh-in revealed he had ballooned to 283 pounds (128.4 kilograms), fully 15 pounds heavier than his fighting weight six months ago.

Ruiz’s poor conditioning was ruthlessly exposed by Joshua on Saturday, who nimbly outboxed the chubby champion.

“Three months of partying and celebrating affected me, what can I say?” Ruiz told reporters after the fight.

Asked what he’d do differently if granted a rematch with Joshua, Ruiz replied: “Listen to my coach. Listen to my dad. And take it more seriously.”

Ruiz, who was granted a ritzy homecoming parade in his Californian hometown of Imperial following his win in June, said he had started his training camp for the rematch too late.

Trainer Manny Robles had wanted Ruiz back in the gym in July. Ruiz only started his camp in September.

“I’m OK, I’m just a little disappointed,” Ruiz said. “I should have listened to them. I tried to do the training on my own. I should have listened to them more. There’s no excuses…the partying and all that stuff got the best of me.”

Robles meanwhile refused to point the finger at Ruiz.

“You’ve got to be with your fighter 100 percent,” he said. “I’m not the first coach where situations happen in camp. I have to apologise to him because this is a team effort and when you don’t win it hurts. It always hurts.”

Ruiz, however, was able to take encouragement from the fight, insisting he would be a different proposition in a third encounter.

“For being out of shape I did pretty good, I took all his shots,” he said. “I got him a few times … If we’d have gone toe to toe … For the trilogy I know I’m going to be a lot better.

“Being overweight, I wasn’t fluid enough, I wasn’t moving the way I wanted to move. I think if I’m lighter I’m going to let my hands go and be a completely different fighter.”

Saudi Arabia To Stage Joshua Vs Ruiz World Heavyweight Fight

Saudi Arabia will stage the world heavyweight title rematch between Britain’s Anthony Joshua and champion Andy Ruiz Jr, promoters announced on Friday.

The December 7 fight, dubbed ‘Clash on the Dunes’, will see Joshua trying to win back the IBF, WBA and WBO titles he sensationally lost to Ruiz Jr in New York in June.

READ ALSO: Joshua To Face Ruiz Rematch Before End Of Year – Promoter

The bout will take place in Diriyah, which incorporates the UNESCO World Heritage site of Al-Turaif, on the outskirts of the capital Riyadh.

Joshua To Face Ruiz Rematch Before End Of Year – Promoter

Andy Ruiz Jr knocks down Anthony Joshua in the third round during their IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight title fight at Madison Square Garden on June 01, 2019 in New York City. Al Bello/Getty Images/AFP

 

Anthony Joshua will attempt to reclaim his heavyweight titles from Andy Ruiz Jr. before the end of the year after activating a rematch clause in his contract, promoter Eddie Hearn said Tuesday.

In a brief post on Twitter, Hearn said Joshua had opted for an immediate rematch against Ruiz Jr, who shocked the boxing world with a seventh-round knockout of the British fighter on Saturday.

“After meetings with AJ, (trainer) Rob (McCracken) and the management team in NY, we have today triggered the contracted rematch clause with Andy Ruiz Jnr,” Hearn wrote. “The fight will take place in Nov/Dec at a venue to be confirmed shortly.”

Ruiz Jr. pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the history of the heavyweight division at Madison Square Garden on Saturday with his sensational stoppage of Joshua, the previously unbeaten WBA, IBF, and WBO heavyweight champion.

The 29-year-old Ruiz started the fight as a massive 32-1 underdog but floored Joshua four times on his way to a win which upended the heavyweight division.

In comments to ESPN later Tuesday, Hearn said Joshua was anxious to get back in the ring with Ruiz as quickly as possible.

“There was no point in waiting,” Hearn told the US sports network. “We’ve talked about it and it’s happening. There’s no other fight AJ wants, so there was no point waiting 30 days. Everybody needs clarity. We sat down and it wasn’t even a case of him asking what else is out there. The rematch is the fight we need, and that’s what we’ll be doing.”

Hearn had initially indicated the rematch is likely to take place in Britain, where Joshua regularly sells out large-capacity venues. However, he told ESPN on Tuesday that the choice of venue remained open.

“My gut feeling was the UK but not guaranteed,” Hearn said. “We have to look at everything. The people at (US broadcaster) DAZN and Madison Square Garden would like to do Part 2 in the US.

“Joshua came to Andy Ruiz’s country for the first fight, so it kind of makes sense to the second fight in the UK. So we’ll see.”

Ruiz Shocks Joshua For Three Heavyweight World Titles

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – June 01: Andy Ruiz Jr celebrates his seventh round TKO against Anthony Joshua after their IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight title fight at Madison Square Garden on June 01, 2019 in New York City/ AFP

 

Anthony Joshua’s bid to make a splash in his US debut ended in misery for the three belts heavyweight world champion with a stunning loss to underdog Andy Ruiz at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.

Ruiz recorded a monster upset, by knocking down Britain’s Joshua four times to take the World Boxing Association, International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Organization titles.

The 29-year-old Ruiz came into the fight as a massive 32-1 underdog. But he won it by TKO in the middle of the seventh when the referee stopped it at 1:26 of the round after the fourth knockdown.

Ruiz, sent to the canvas once himself, knocked Joshua down twice in the third round and twice more in the seventh.

“I still can’t believe it. I am still pinching myself to see if this is real,” Ruiz said.

Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) had a massive height and reach advantage as he weighed in at a chiselled 247 pounds (112.4 kilos) alongside the portly Ruiz, who beefed up to 268 pounds compared to 250 for his most recent fight.

Ruiz, who has won four fights in a row, looked fearless and poised while Joshua — who delivered 21 knockouts in his 22 victories — never seemed to recover from the first knockdown early in the third.

“Riuz won fair and square but I know Anthony Joshua’s work ethic. Great fighters come back and improve,” said Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn.

Ruiz (33-1, 22 KOs) has been underestimated because of his physique, but he knew what was at stake and how fortunate he was to get a second chance at a world title.

He was a late replacement for Jarrell Miller, who withdrew from the bout with Joshua after failing three drug tests in April.

“Everything is a possible man. Look at me, I just made history,” Ruiz said.

Joshua was knocked down for the first time in the third when Ruiz hit him with a left hook to the temple. Realizing he had the champ in trouble, Ruiz then charged forward and got the second knockdown by connecting on a straight right.

Joshua got up at the count of eight but it was late in the round and he was saved by the bell.

“The speed got him,” said Ruiz.

Ruiz was the first to go to the mat when he got hit by a left hook from Joshua earlier in the third.

Joshua got up after the third knockdown and fourth knockdowns in the seventh but he spat out his mouthguard and the referee waived it off while he leaned on the ropes.

Joshua needed medical attention after the bout and did not attend the post-fight news conference.

READ ALSO: It Means So Much- Liverpools Klopp Reacts To Victory

Joshua, who won a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics, was coming off a nine-month layoff since knocking out Alexander Povetkin in September.

– Devastating loss –
Ruiz’s ambush win is being hailed by some as one of the major upsets in heavyweight history, ranking with 42-1 underdog Buster Douglas knocking out Mike Tyson in 1990 and Leon Spinks’ 15-round split decision over Muhammad Ali in 1978.

“We did an upset, just exactly what I have been saying from all the people that doubted me, I just proved them wrong,” Ruiz said.

Ruiz, who was born in San Diego and carries a US passport, considers himself Mexican and is now the first heavyweight champion of Mexican descent.

“I think Mexico has a champ in every weight and now we have a heavyweight champion. I am so happy,” said Ruiz.

The loss will be devastating for the career of Joshua who was looking past Ruiz for a superfight unification showdown with WBC champion Deontay Wilder.

Together with Briton Tyson Fury they are trying to revive the sport’s prestige division but the inability to get them together in the ring had left a sour taste in the mouth of boxing fans.

One of the first to pile on Joshua was Wilder who tweeted, “He wasn’t a true champion. His whole career was consistent of lies, contradiction and gifts …. now we know who was running from who!!!!”

Fury was less critical, tweeting “We have our back and Forth’s but @anthonyfjoshua changed his stars through life, heavyweight boxing. These things happen, rest up, recover, regroup and come again.”