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Pressure is all on Joshua, says Ruiz Jr

Ruiz knocked down Joshua four times in their bout in June but says the 30-year-old will adopt a more cautious approach in the Diriyah Arena.

Boxer Anthony Joshua. Picture: Instagram/anthony_joshua

BENGALURU - World heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr believes his re-match with Anthony Joshua will be a harder fight than his stunning victory in June but says all the pressure is on the Briton ahead of their showdown in Saudi Arabia this weekend.

Mexican-American Ruiz produced one of boxing’s biggest upsets when he dethroned the previously undefeated world champion Joshua with a seventh-round stoppage at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

“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,” Ruiz said ahead of the so-called ‘Clash on the Dunes’.

“Of course I want more though — I want the legacy of Andy Ruiz Jr.”

Ruiz knocked down Joshua four times in their bout in June but says the 30-year-old will adopt a more cautious approach in the Diriyah Arena.

“I’m expecting that,” he said. “But if he wants to bang, it’s better for me. I love to bang because that’s the fighter that I am. We have to pressure, work the body, break him down. Especially his mentality.

“One punch can change the fight. That’s what happened on June 1. It might be a little harder than the first time. I’ve got to show my skills, my talent.”

Ruiz Jr has suffered only one defeat in 34 fights, losing a majority decision to Joseph Parker in 2016.

He said it will be a clash of styles when he faces Joshua again and believes the former Olympic champion will struggle to fathom an effective strategy.

“I don’t think he’s ever fought a short guy that pressures and is pretty slick,” the 30-year-old Ruiz Jr said. “I felt like I was boxing him around even though I was the shorter guy.

“He saw something that he’s never seen before. Styles make fights. His style was perfect for me to become the unified heavyweight champion.”