For Anthony Joshua, the goal is simple on Saturday in Saudi Arabia.
Beat Andy Ruiz and reclaim the WBA,IBF and WBO titles back that were lost to him in the seventh round back in June at Madison Square Garden. Everyone knows this, Joshua included.
Speaking with Sky Sports this week, One thing that Joshua regrets leading up to the original fight was letting Ruiz hold the belts. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, he is hoping that Ruiz returns the favor leading into their title rematch.
“Yes, why not,” Joshua said to Sky Sports. “They are heavy – that’s why I gave them to him, last time.
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Needless to say, Joshua would like to have them back.
“But I haven’t had them around me for the past six months so yes, I would definitely take them to see what I’m about to have in my possession.
“I would shake his hand, we’re going to fight anyway. Sportsmanship… but come that first bell, I’ll take his head off.”
So far this week, both Ruiz and Joshua have not meet face to face since arriving or at the open workouts held yesterday. That will all change with the press conference Wednesday, but beforehand, Ruiz was challenging that Joshua didn’t want to meet up.
“I wanted to see him, I wanted to shake his hand, but I guess he didn’t want to see me,” Ruiz Jr told Sky Sports.
The focus for Ruiz in this bout feels that the pressure is on Joshua to reclaim his belts. One thing that is for sure is that Ruiz has had more preparation leading up to this one.
“For the last fight we only had a month-and-a-half at most, this time we’ve had three months,” Ruiz said to Sky Sports.
“I don’t underestimate any fighter, especially AJ. I know he will bring his A-game. I know he wants to hit me from distance but it’s my job to do what we plan on doing. We’re ready for whatever he brings,” Ruiz said.