Joshua ‘hungry, determined and focused’ ahead of Ruiz rematch

By PA Sport Staff

Anthony Joshua insists he is hungry to win back his world heavyweight titles ahead of his rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia.

The pair meet again on Saturday, six months after the Briton’s shock defeat at Madison Square Garden.

Joshua said at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon: “It is interesting to be on this side of the table, but in my 16th fight I challenged for the world title and I am challenging for the world title again.

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Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr face the media (Nick Potts/PA).
Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr face the media (Nick Potts/PA).

“I call it back to my 16th fight. I’m hungry, determined and focused on the goal.

“There is no fear in my heart, no fear in my eyes and I’m really looking forward to putting on a show.”

On the venue in Diriyah, Joshua said: “We are about to turn this into something special.

“We have a great undercard, a great show. I went to the venue and it is perfectly designed. I will walk in with confidence and I want everyone to feel the confidence that I will.”

But Ruiz Jr is not ready to give up the belts he won on June 1.

“I made my dreams come true and made history,” he said. “I appreciate the supporters I have. I was surprised by how many fans I have here. I’m ready to rock and roll.

“I know AJ will come with a different game plan and is prepared and more motivated. I know he will try to box me around, but it’s my job to prevent that.

“I don’t want to let these beautiful belts go away. I will die trying and do anything that is possible to get that victory.”

The fight will take place at the Diriyah Arena (Nick Potts/PA).
The fight will take place at the Diriyah Arena (Nick Potts/PA).

The decision to stage the fight in Saudi Arabia was met with criticism given the country’s human rights record.

Promoter Eddie Hearn revealed the original plan was for the rematch to take place in Cardiff, but admitted: “The passion to host this fight in Saudi Arabia was unquestionable.”

Andy Ruiz Sr promised his son would deliver for a second time.

He said: “We’re going to make history. Don’t miss the fight. He will come with the best preparation and on that night my son will be victorious.”

Anthony Joshua is out to avenge his shock defeat in New York (Nick Potts/PA).
Anthony Joshua is out to avenge his shock defeat in New York (Nick Potts/PA).

Joshua’s trainer Rob McCracken is positive the Londoner will show how good he is this weekend.

He said the mood heading into the rematch was totally different to how it was in the summer.

McCracken added: “Anthony’s in a much better place than last time. I am much happier with where he is at. The training camp has gone really well.

“We know how good Ruiz Jr is and he is the champion, but we are really happy and confident and it is a totally different mood going into this fight.

“We will see the real Anthony Joshua on December 7.”

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