‘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.