Andy Ruiz Jr. singles out Anthony Joshua’s mentality as a big weakness
Andy Ruiz Jr. is confident of retaining his status as the unified world heavyweight champion this Saturday night in Saudi Arabia.
The 30 year-old meets Anthony Joshua for the second time in six months after previously dropping the Briton four times.
Despite the impressive New York victory, Ruiz begins an underdog with UK bookies, who see Joshua in the correct frame of mind to gain revenge.
Ruiz, though, believes Joshua’s mentality is the key to another famous win. The Mexican-American is eyeing another all-out war at Diriyah Arena.
“I’m expecting that,” said Ruiz Jr. “But if he wants to bang, it’s better for me. I love to bang because that’s the fighter that I am.
“December 7 we have to pressure, work the body, break him down. Especially his mentality.
“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.
“Of course I want more though – I want the legacy of Andy Ruiz Jr.”
Continuing to preview his return with Joshua, Ruiz told BBC Sport: “I have been enjoying life. This is just the beginning.
“I sure haven’t stopped smiling. I’ve been so happy how my life has changed for my wife, my kids, my whole family. I am blessed with all that came my way.
“All of the pressure is on him, not on me as I followed my dream and made it come true.
“There are things I have had to do to take me to the next level. I’m confident I can be victorious and when I am I will tell everyone of how I went wrong.
“I do feel different. I feel confident and I believe. I’ve been boxing since 2008. It’s almost like it’s been given to me. Now I am back to the days of being younger, striving.
“I am a challenger. This is my chance at the Heavyweight Championship of the World. The event starts when I am victorious. Then I will tell you about my story, what I have come through, the obstacles.”
On fighting in Saudi Arabia, Ruiz said: “This is a beautiful country and I am really excited to be here. I never imagined being here defending these titles. This is an amazing feeling.
“We are enjoying life, we are enjoying what comes with this. But we are working hard and ready for Saturday’s fight.
“We had a longer camp than we did for June 1 and I feel good.”
Asked for a response on AJ either looking impressive in sparring or possibly being hurt, Ruiz replied: “Well, I am not a sparring partner. I am the heavyweight champion of the world. That’s the difference.
“They can say whatever they want but when you get in that ring, it’s a different thing.”
Concluding on ring legend Evander Holyfield saying kind words in an exclusive interview with WBN, Ruiz stated: “Evander Holyfield is a legend, one of my favorite fighters ever.
“I appreciate all the love and support. But I am here and ready for December 7, I know it’s not going to be easy.
“This is going to be hard and there are a lot of obstacles but I am ready.”