IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz is less than a week away from his rematch with Anthony Joshua, which takes place on Saturday night in Saudi Arabia.
Ruiz created a major shocker back in June, when he entered the ring as a late replacement and dropped Joshua four times for a seventh round stoppage.
The first bout took place at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
While many believe Ruiz is living in the moment, the Mexican boxer rejects that talk and maintains that his recent financial success has not gone to his head.
“I’m still the same Andy Ruiz. I’m still the same chubby little fat kid with the big dream. I’m still that person," Ruiz told Gareth Davies of The Telegraph.
“Inside the ring, I’m the champion of the world. I’m Mr Hulk in there and I’ve still got a lot to accomplish. This journey now is what I’ve been dreaming about all my life. I accomplished my dreams on June 1 and I’ve still got a lot to prove on Dec 7.”
The first fight had fireworks, with Ruiz also going down a single time in the third. Jsohua went down twice in the third and twice more in the seventh.
Ruiz expects a lot more fireworks in the rematch.
But he will get respect early and not allow Joshua to gain confidence during the fight.
“Fight fans are going to see the same thing [in Saudi Arabia] they saw on June 1. The guy with big dreams going in there to dominate and to be heavyweight champion. Of course, they’re going to see a lot of fireworks. If he knocks me down, I’m going to get up and knock him down. I know he’ll try to do the same if I knock him down. The main thing is to stay focused and disciplined," Ruiz said.
“He is going to try to make adjustments. I don’t know if he wants to exchange punches, but I’d love for him to do that because I’m the more skilled boxer. He’ll try to box me round and use his jab. But for how long? How long can he keep me away from hunting him down? That’s what we’ve been working on most of all right now, heading into the fight.
“I want to impose myself in this fight, but I don’t want to overlook him. He’s still a dangerous fighter. I respect him and all the fighters who risk their lives inside the ring. He’s going to have some tricks up his sleeve and it’s my job to not let that affect me. The main thing is pressure, throw combinations and use my speed. I can’t let him grow balls in there.”