Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 9 August 2020

Clash on the Dunes: Andy Ruiz Jr admits partying and lack of preparation 'affected me' against Anthony Joshua

Mexican-American says he should have trained harder and was overweight following defeat to British heavyweight in Saudi Arabia

Andy Ruiz Jr conceded that three months of partying and inadequate training had left him badly out of shape, leading to defeat in his world title rematch with Anthony Joshua on Saturday night.

The Mexican-American, the second-heaviest world champion in heavyweight history, was resoundingly beaten on points at the Diriyah Arena in Saudi Arena, six months after he had surprised the boxing world by clinching a seventh-round stoppage against Joshua in New York.

Ruiz gained almost seven kilograms for the second clash with the British boxer, lifting his weight to 129kg, and it showed in a significantly more sluggish display. With only a second professional defeat in 35 bouts, Ruiz surrendered the WBA, IBF and WBO belts he won from Joshua earlier this year.

"I don't want to say the three months of partying or celebrating didn't affect me as, to tell you the truth, it kind of did," Ruiz said at the post-fight press conference. "I should have trained harder. I should have listened to my team and coaches. For this fight I was overweight. I didn't move how I wanted to.

"Me, my dad, and my team were talking … I should have listened to them. I think we started [training] too late. Three months of partying, celebrating, affected me. What can I say?

"I shouldn't have put on all this weight. I tried to do my kind of training on my own and I'm sorry to [trainer] Manny [Robles], my dad. I got too confident in myself.”

Many had questioned Ruiz’s lifestyle since shocking the sport in June and becoming Mexico's first heavyweight champion, with the California native spending lavishly on a new mansion and high-end cars.

Yet Ruiz vowed to come back stronger, especially if that means a third clash with Joshua.

"There's a lot of responsibility being a champion of the world," he said. "I think the partying and all that stuff got the best of me. Being a champion for the first time, being over here and there and missing training, it was hard.

"For the trilogy I will be a lot better. If it's here even better; I want to redeem myself in Saudi Arabia.

"I think people are still doubting me. I am still a dangerous fighter to anyone in the division. At 100 per cent I can dominate anyone in the world. You best believe I am going to come back and be the heavyweight champion of the world once again."

Updated: December 8, 2019 10:09 AM

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