With a daunting task ahead of him, Ruiz is all smiles.
Andy Ruiz Jr. (32-1, 21 KOs) has been smiling since he was announced as Anthony Joshua’s June 1st opponent.
Perhaps it’s because he’s receiving the shot of a lifetime to swoop four of the five major world titles in one night of work. It could also be that he, like many others, believe that he can actually defeat Joshua.
After all, he is fighting for the pride of an entire country.
“I’ve been waiting for this all my life, I’ve been training so hard since my last fight against Alexander Dimitrenko,” said Ruiz, Jr. at yesterday’s presser.
“This came at a perfect time to fight Anthony Joshua. Those belts look really shiny, look really good! I’m ready to become the first Mexican Heavyweight champion of the world. Ready to bring those belts back to Mexico, although they have never been to Mexico, but they will be on June 1.”
Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn revealed that the road to Ruiz, after original opponent Jarrell Miller failed drug tests, came via social media.
“Once the three positive drug test came in we searched for a new opponent, there wasn’t any instructions, it was whoever we wanted,” said Matchroom Boxing Managing Director, Eddie Hearn.
“Someone sent me a direct message, I’m fighting on Saturday, give me this fight, I’ll fight harder than any other person mentioned and I will give you a better fight and beat Anthony Joshua.“
Mexico’s Fighting Pride
With over 200 world champions hailing from Mexico or of Mexican descent, boxing is saturated in red, white and green, south of the border style.
The list of names is long and significant, with some of the best in history etching their names on the scrolls of greatness. From current boxing superstar Saul “Canelo” Alvarez to legends like Julio Caesar Chavez, Oscar De La Hoya, Marco Antonio Barrera, and more, Mexico is boxing.
Ruiz, Jr. is a relative unknown, however, a quick surmise of his career shows a deserving contender.
With only one highly contested loss to Joseph Parker for the WBO heavyweight title, Ruiz, Jr. looks like a better fight than “Big Baby” Miller.
“Fighting Andy for me is just as dangerous as fighting Wilder or Fury because they both possess their own skills, so I have to take Andy deadly serious,” said Joshua at the presser.
“I don’t overlook him at all, I respect him and respect his team, and I really respect he put his name on the dotted line to take this challenge.”
Tomorrow night Andy Ruiz, Jr., looks to add another notch to Mexico’s prestigious boxing resume. The road to becoming the first Mexican heavyweight champion, however, collides with Joshua’s first stateside fight.
The lines are clearly drawn in the battle of Britain vs. Mexico takes place in the U.S.’s most famous arena.