Andy Ruiz is not being picked by many pundits to down Anthony Joshua June 1 at Madison Square Garden’s big room, on DAZN.
OK, almost any pundits….
Reach out and poke me if you think that the Cali boxer, age 29, will take the titles from the Brit strongman, who was getting ready for Jarrell Miller. “Big Baby” got booted from the scrap because he tested positive for three different banned perforamnce enhancers.
So, Ruiz got the call, after Eddie Hearn sifted through names of fill-in possibilities.
Ruiz checked in with Everlast’s “Talkbox” podcast, and came off as humble and hungry. Not, we aren’t trying to be clever. Yes, we touched on the fact that Ruiz’ physique isn’t in AJ territory…but we are more so referring to the 32-1 hitter’s stated POV as he counts down to this mega opportunity.
One thing that struck me is how well he handles negativity. Ruiz doesn’t let ninnies on social media bust his chops for being curv-y, and derail his attention. “Before when I was younger, I used to be on social media and I’d be like, ‘Hey, what the hell, get in the ring with me and this little fat boy is gonna teach you a lesson. Now, it’s no use. I just use it, like you say, as motivation,” he told us. He now seeks to prove his worth in the ring, and not by debating schmucks on social.
But he also has a good sense of humor about himself. He’s become the best unpaid marketer of Snickers bars. “Right now me and my team are all working on that, trying to figure out something we could do. Snickers has always been part of my life,” he revealed. His dad used to feed him bars as a kid, when he was, he admits, a chubby lad. He told us he puts a bar in the fridge, and chops it into pieces and postpones the gratification some.
Now, about that physique and weight…He told us he’s 262 right now and wants to be between 250-255 for AJ. “I’m not gonna let AJ push me around…I gotta be pushing him around,” Ruiz said.
So, prediction, please, Mr. Ruiz.
“My prediction is, an all action fight. I’m not going in there just for the payday, like everyone else, I’m in there to win it. I’m gonna bring it all I got, all my heart, all my blood, sweat and tears. Things I’ve been working on since I’m six years old. I’m gonna give it all I got. As if this is my last opportunity, as if it’s life and death situation. I’m just gonna give it all I got. I never predict a knockout, in all the interviews I’ve done, if the knockout comes, it comes. Just make sure I’m gonna stick to the game plan, and win! That’s the main thing. We gotta win, win, win.”
He signed off with an amusing offer. “If you wanna come to the corner while I’m fighting and give me a Snickers bar that’ll be great, and I can’t wait, tune in, June first, Madison Square Garden!”