FORMER world heavyweight boxing champion Andy Ruiz has attributed last night’s loss to Anthony Joshua to the incessant partying that followed his August victory saying he embarked upon a three month period of celebrations.
Last night at the Diriyah Arena on the outskirts of the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh, Joshua regained the four belts he lost to Ruiz in June. In an upset that shocked the boxing world, Joshua got knocked to the canvass four times during the course of their first fight on June 1, forcing the referee to end matters in the seventh round.
In a development that completely shook up the heavyweight scene, Joshua lost the World Boxing Association, World Boxing Organisation, International Boxing Organisation and International Boxing Federation titles on the night. However, the fight’s contract had a rematch clause in it and this was triggered, leading to yesterday’s fight, which Joshua won by a unanimous decision.
After a fight that went the distance, the judges scored the fight 118-110, 118-110 and 119-109 in favour of Joshua. Ruiz, 30, blamed the three months of endless partying following his June victory for yesterday’s loss, saying he had failed to train seriously for his first title defence.
On Friday, Ruiz had drawn gasps of disbelief when the weigh-in revealed he had ballooned to 283 pounds (128.4kg), making him 15 pounds heavier than he was six months ago. His poor conditioning was exposed by Joshua, who nimbly out-boxed the chubby Mexican-American to regain the belts.
Ruiz said: “Three months of partying and celebrating affected me, what can I say? I’m OK, I’m just a little disappointed but I should have listened to my coach and my dad.
“I tried to do the training on my own but should have listened to them more. There’s no excuses as the partying and all that stuff got the best of me.”
According to Ruiz, who was granted a ritzy homecoming parade in his Californian hometown of Imperial following his win in June, he had started his training camp for the rematch too late. Trainer Manny Robles had wanted Ruiz back in the gym in July but the boxer only started his camp in September
Ruiz, however, was able to take encouragement from the fight, insisting he would be a different proposition in a third encounter. He said he would make sure he is in better shape if they fought again.
“For being out of shape I did pretty good as I took all his shots. I got him a few times. Being overweight, I wasn’t fluid enough, I wasn’t moving the way I wanted to move and I think if I’m lighter I’m going to let my hands go and be a completely different fighter,” Ruiz added.