By Mark Elezaj
Heavyweight contender Andy Ruiz Jr. will get his opportunity to become the first Mexican to win a heavyweight world title, when he steps in the ring, on short notice, to face Anthony Joshua on June 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK.
Ruiz (32-1 21 KOs) comes into the fight ready. The 29 year old recorded his 21st KO when he faced Alexander Dimitrenko ten days ago.
Joshua (22-0 21 KOs) will be defending his IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO titles for just the second time in his eighth world title fight on his highly anticipated American debut after his KO victory over Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium, London in September.
Ruiz feels he can stop Joshua and become Heavyweight World champion on June 1st.
“The chills – I’m really excited for this fight,” said Ruiz. “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.”
Joshua says he’s ready for the challenge.
“Ruiz is a different kind of challenge but one I embrace’” said Joshua. “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.”
Since losing in his previous world title bid, a majority points loss to the then WBO champion, Joseph Parker, two years ago, Ruiz has fought three times, beating Devin Vargas, Kevin Johnson, and Alexander Dimitrenko.
~ The Fighting Voice ~