Pres­sure is all on Joshua, says Ruiz Jr ahead of Satur­day’s ‘Clash on the Dunes’

The National - News - - SPORT -

World heavy­weight cham­pion Andy Ruiz Jr be­lieves his re-match with An­thony Joshua will be a harder fight than his stun­ning vic­tory in June but says all the pres­sure is on the Bri­ton ahead of Satur­day’s showdown in Saudi Ara­bia.

Mex­i­can-Amer­i­can Ruiz pro­duced one of box­ing’s big­gest up­sets when he de­throned the pre­vi­ously un­de­feated world cham­pion Joshua with a sev­enth-round stop­page at New York’s Madi­son Square Gar­den.

“We’ve got to see where he’s at be­cause all the pres­sure is on him. The pres­sure isn’t on me be­cause I fol­lowed my dream, made my dreams come true,” Ruiz said ahead of the bout dubbed “Clash on the Dunes”.

“Of course, I want more though – I want the legacy of Andy Ruiz Jr.”

Ruiz knocked down Joshua four times in their fight in June but says the 30-year-old Bri­ton will adopt a more cau­tious ap­proach in the Diriyah Arena.

“I’m ex­pect­ing that,” he said. “But if he wants to bang, it’s bet­ter for me. I love to bang be­cause that’s the fighter that I am. We have to pres­sure, work the body, break him down. Es­pe­cially his men­tal­ity.

“One punch can change the fight. That’s what hap­pened on June 1. It might be a little harder than the first time. I’ve got to show my skills, my tal­ent.”

Joshua will at­tempt to re­gain the WBA, IBF, and WBO ti­tles and re­build a rep­u­ta­tion that had him ear­marked to be one of the po­ten­tial greats of box­ing’s most il­lus­tri­ous weight class.

Ruiz Jr has suf­fered only one de­feat in 34 fights, los­ing a ma­jor­ity de­ci­sion to Joseph Parker in 2016.

He said it will be a clash of styles when he faces Joshua again and be­lieves the for­mer Olympic cham­pion will strug­gle to fathom an ef­fec­tive strat­egy.

“I don’t think he’s ever fought a short guy that pres­sures, and is pretty slick,” the 30-yearold Ruiz Jr said. “I felt like I was box­ing him around even though I was the shorter guy.

“He saw some­thing that he’s never seen be­fore. Styles make fights. His style was per­fect for me to be­come the uni­fied heavy­weight cham­pion.”

Ruiz pro­duced one of the big­gest up­sets when he de­throned the pre­vi­ously un­de­feated Joshua

Andy Ruiz Jr in Riyadh yes­ter­day with the heavy­weight cham­pion belt which he won in June

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