Mindanao Times

Joshua gets revenge over overweight Ruiz


ANDY Ruiz Jr. took the money and ran.

He took a fight that he had the capability of winning and he squandered it long before he ever made the trek to Saudi Arabia. He acted as if he’d hit the lottery on June 1 when he knocked out Anthony Joshua in the seventh round at Madison Square Garden in New York to win three of the four major heavyweigh­t belts. On Saturday in Saudi Arabia, he paid for that dearly.

He was drilled by a guy who looked gun shy, who had a foot in the bucket, who didn’t want to engage and get hit. Joshua deservedly won going away on Saturday in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, by using his jab and reach and keeping an out-of-shape Ruiz on the outside.

Ruiz weighed in Friday at a stunning 283 pounds after having weighed 268 in the first fight. On Saturday, after an uninspired effort when he never really put his foot on the gas in an attempt to act like his titles meant something to him, he admitted he should have trained harder.

“I didn’t prepare how I should have,” Ruiz said. “I gained too much weight, but you know what? I don’t want to give no excuses. He won. He boxed me around. You better [expletive] believe I’m going to get in the [expletive] best shape of my life [for a third fight].”

Well, it’s too late for that. Imagine what the Saudis who put up more than $100 million to stage this event felt to see a guy in the biggest fight of his life not even act as if he’d cared. Imagine what fans who paid thousands to fly across the world, to purchase tickets, to pay for hotel rooms, feel after hearing Ruiz say that.

He looked like a jobber on the preliminar­y pro wrestling card who was there to get drilled by the A side and, well, that’s what happened.

Here’s the sad thing: This fight was there for Ruiz to win. With pressure, with footwork, with combinatio­ns, Ruiz had a path to victory on this night.

Joshua clearly showed the effects of having been so violently knocked out in June. He was cautious and wasn’t interested in engaging.

“That would have knocked down a horse,” Joshua said to DAZN’s Chris Mannix in the ring after the bout about the punch Ruiz dropped him with in the third round in New York. “Andy’s a strong boy. He’s a strong man, you know what I mean?”

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