At London Presser, Joshua Says As Of Now, Andy Ruiz Is The Best Heavyweight In the Game


Promoter Eddie Hearn presided over the third and final event of the press tour to tout Ruiz vs. Joshua 2, and he did so from London.

Wait, it was London, right?

Been a whirlwind, they did NYC just yesterday and in Saudi Arabia, the fight site, the day before.

Hearn kept the same tone–contained breathlessness, as he spoke of the gorgeous fight site that the Saudis are putting together. He repeated talking points, such as how other promoters have tried to bring a big bout to the Middle East, like this one, but he got ‘er done. “This will blow your mind,” the charmer deal maker stated.

He tossed the mic to the ex undefeated Anthony Joshua, who said yes, this PR trek has been a loopy trip. He is looking forward to sleeping in his own bed, and also, that he respects Ruiz immensely.

The Brit hitter told the assembled that he doesn’t have that much experience, and he’s fought champ after champ. He’s not a “cherry picker,” he declared, and he is quite motivated to get that W. “In my opinion, Andy Ruiz is the best heavyweight out there.”

Hearn is the most deft of any promoter at playing media member–he queried AJ, and asked what it felt like that the questions are JUST about the fight at hand. Sure enough, AJ said. It is best to focus hard on what is in front of you, and not look past the rival. There will be no overlooking Ruiz, he told the press.

The fight screens at 9PM in the UK, and so that’ll be good for them, he told us.

Hearn tossed him a softball, asking him about his inner grit. AJ said yeah, him and his people have all seen some hard times, and that does help him prep after a disappointment. The ex champ spoke on what motivates someone who reaches an apex. He said he wants to have a champion mindset, be it in the ring, or if he is working as a street cleaner. He said he will re-align a few things in his life, to get back a bit of that mindset, but didn’t specify.

Andy Ruiz, again with the sombrero on, said this has been a long week. But, he said, he’s ready to NOT give up those belts. “We’re gonna win in the same fashion,” he said, of the December scrap.

So, about those toys, the Rolex and fancy the motivation still present, even if those indulgences are deserved, Hearn said? Yessir, Ruiz said, he wanted the new house for the fame, but toys are toys and objects are secondary. He will be more pumped to win the fight than buy the bling, he said.

The Cali-based boxer said that he has believed in himself, all the way through, even when people were dissing him, and thinking he was too chunky to get the A grade victories. “I looked heavy, I looked big, I just had that mindset I was gonna be the first Mexican heavyweight champion of the world,” Ruiz stated.

Eddie said he thinks AJ will be better, he will too, perhaps–talk about the stakes. “It’s either me or him,” Ruiz said, but “I feel Anthony is trying to take my kids’ Cheerios.” He said if someone tries that, “I’m gonna die trying” to stop the effort.

One Omar Khalil, overseeing the promotion from the Saudi side, said that all visitors can look forward to a warm welcome when they arrive for the Dec. 7 tango. “We know the world will be watching,” and he said, they will deliver a marvelous package. “We are pleased to be on a journey that see Saudi Arabia continue to move forward, this is another historic step towards new opportunities for all, and through this heavyweight clash, we look forward to welcoming the world.”

Andy’s dad Andres Ruiz spoke, this time in English, and he called his son “the Mexican Rocky…and this fight December 7th is going to be the best fight in the world.” The best man will win, and it could be either man, though he knows his son will be well prepared to get the W.

Joshua’s trainer Rob McCracken said that the June 1 fight was a “difficult night,” but in heavyweight boxing we see such upsets with regularity. “Here’s the beauty of it, it can be put right, and it can be be put right in spectacular fashion.” The height and reach will be better used in December, he promised. He’s been in the game for a long spell, he said, and yes, he’s seen re-match fights see the loser in the first tango come out the winner next time. He said he is “pretty sure” that AJ will be very much better in the sequel scrap, and AJ seems quite sure that will happen. Interesting phrasing….

Manny Robles, the Ruiz trainer, noted that even many Mexican fans didn’t believe the chubby kid could win..and Ruiz proved him wrong. “I compared him to Chavez, Morales and Barrera,” in his style, and so he wasn’t surprised by the Ruiz effort. Robles said that they will “plan to do the same thing,” and they have more time to prep and there will be better training and sparring for the re-do. (NOTE: I worry that the 13 weeks of open time could lead more easily to someone getting injured, I do hope not.)

He said also that he thinks AJ has learned from his defeat, and that it could be a relief that he is no longer protecting the undefeated mark. Ruiz learned from HIS lone loss, so there’s that.

MY THREE CENTS: All in all, there was not a slim hint of animosity–sometimes that worries me, we’ve all seen the fights that turned out to look spar-ry, after the two combatants acted more like business partners than enemies…but I don’t worry in this case, not after we saw the bomb-throwing in the first tango.



About Michael Woods

Michael Woods

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine,, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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