‘Fight could go ei­ther way’


Andy Ruiz has turned up in good shape and says he’s pre­pared to fight to the death to win the WBO ti­tle in his heavy­weight clash with Joseph Parker.

The 27-year-old Mex­i­can ar­rived in Auck­land on Sun­day, ap­pre­ci­at­ing a fiery Maori wel­come by a kapa haka group and promis­ing to take a war­rior’s at­ti­tude into the ring at Vec­tor Arena on Satur­day night.

Ruiz, who has been training at al­ti­tude in Big Bear, Cal­i­for­nia, de­liv­ered on his prom­ise to be in the best shape of his ca­reer for this world ti­tle fight.

For­get the Mr Blobby jokes, Ruiz looks ready for busi­ness. Hav­ing de­buted at 140kg in 2009 to start an un­beaten run of 29 fights, Ruiz has reg­u­larly fought around 125kg, pro­vid­ing de­cep­tive ath­leti­cism and hand-speed for his size.

‘‘I think I’ll be at 250lb (113kg) strong and in shape with en­durance,’’ Ruiz, dressed in an All Blacks jer­sey given to him by a fan, said of his ex­pected fight weight.

‘‘That was the main part - we didn’t want to lose too much weight for this fight, we wanted to be strong and pre­pared and that’s ex­actly how we are.’’

Parker will likely weigh around 111kg but the Kiwi will have a no­tice­able height and reach ad­van­tage over Ruiz.

Ruiz played that down, just as he did his late ar­rival to Auck­land which leaves him a min­i­mum time to ad­just.


Mex­i­can heavy­weight boxer Andy Ruiz hongis with mem­bers of a Maori kapa haka group which wel­comed him at Auck­land airport.

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