Andy Ruiz, who took Anthony Joshua’s belts and undefeated record back in June 2019, wasn’t surprised by the result of the Brit’s rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.
Following their second fight in Saudi Arabia, Andy Ruiz Jr has had his say on what went wrong for AJ against Usyk. The fight cemented the Ukrainian as unified heavyweight champion and sent the Brit into his first period as a fighter who’s not in touching distance of the belts.
Ruiz, who returns to the ring to face Luis Ortiz on September 4, told DAZN that he knew it was coming.
“I called the fight. I felt Usyk was going to win. He’s a man of Christ. He did his thing. He did what he was supposed to do. He boxed him around. He threw good combinations. But I felt… I don’t know what happened with Anthony Joshua. I felt like he needed that aggressiveness. I don’t know what happened.
Even in the training, even in the media workout, I fell his [AJ’s] foot was a little off.”
The Mexican fighter, who lifted himself off the canvas against Joshua to come back and claim victory, revealed that people often blame him for the change that many fans say made AJ a less aggressive fighter.
“I did have a lot of text messages of people telling me like, ‘Man, it was your fault. That’s why Anthony Joshua was not that aggressive. He’s thinking too much. He’s being too cautious.’
Us fighters, we shouldn’t care. I feel we should go out there with the bang. It’s scary. I feel that’s what fighters fear of them getting dropped, getting hurt, or getting knocked out. But this is boxing. You’re gonna get hit. You’re gonna get hurt. But the main thing is you got to have those cajones to get back up and to win the fight.
We can’t really show that we’re hurt or that we’re scared. We got to keep going forward. We’re fighters. We gotta be dogs in there.”
Joshua certainly approached the rematch with a revised and more urgent game plan. His flurries in the 8th and 9th rounds did paint the picture of a man who was willing to risk it all – something fans have been calling for.
Ultimately though, it wasn’t enough to beat an elite talent in Usyk, who moves forward in pursuit of undisputed status at heavyweight, having already held all the belts at cruiserweight.