Andy Ruiz Jr and Anthony Joshua come face to face ahead of their epic rematch in Saudi Arabia on Saturday 7th December live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Anthony Joshua insists that he called his downfall to Andy Ruiz Jr “a lucky punch” because his training means “he shouldn’t hit me with that shot”.
He explained on The Gloves Are Off: “Why did I say it was a punch from the gods? Because I train in a certain way that means he shouldn’t hit me with that shot. So I said it was sent from the gods.
“But for him, for Andy? That’s the shot he landed because he trained for it.
“I don’t worry too much what he’s doing. He knows what he’s doing. I have to focus on myself.”
Ruiz Jr replied: “I agree it was from the gods because I was praying and wishing my whole life.”
Ruiz Jr got up from the canvas to knock Joshua down four times, completing a major shock in New York City in June.
Asked if his winning combination of punches were trained for, Ruiz Jr said:
“Of course, but god was on my side.”
He vowed that “my ability, my speed, my movement” will enable him to beat Joshua in their rematch.
“His style was perfect for me,” Ruiz Jr said. “The way he moves around, the way he carries himself in the ring. He’s strong, he’s big – but none of that matters.”
Ruiz Jr had previously questioned Joshua’s weight, and wondered if his rival was shedding muscle mass.
“I saw videos where he looked slimmer,” Ruiz Jr said. “I don’t know if that’s an advantage or a disadvantage.
“I don’t know if he will take the punches as well as he did when he weighed more.
“Me? People are saying I lost too much weight, I won’t be strong, he will move me around. I am losing eight pounds from what I weighed on June 1. I’ll still be the same, I’ll still be strong.”
Joshua has explained about his preparation for the rematch: “Up the sparring, that’s the best way to prepare for a fight. Up the sparring partners.
“They’ve been giving me hell. That’s the closest thing to a fight – we’ve been sparring for a long period of time and it gets you battle-hardened. I feel tough. Aches and pains, but for the right reasons. The punches get you battle-ready.
“Any sparring partner, big or small, is doing me a favour by throwing punches. It’s important to get punches thrown at you because it teaches you how to defend under pressure.
“What they’re there for is to replicate his style – a good fighter can fight in many styles. They are bringing the heat, and that’s what Ruiz Jr does. They bring the heat day-in, day-out but the main thing is getting battle-hardened to the body, forearms, shoulders. Getting conditioned so you can keep walking through fire.”
Watch Andy Ruiz Jr vs Anthony Joshua 2 in Saudi Arabia on Saturday December 7, live on Sky Sports Box Office.