WBO, WBA, IBF, IBO heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz is not convinced that Anthony Joshua was fully on board with taking a direct rematch.
Joshua suffered his first career defeat back in June, when Ruiz dropped him four times to secure a seventh round stoppage at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
A few days after the contest was concluded, it was revealed that Joshua had exercised his option for an immediate rematch.
The second fight is scheduled for December 7th in Saudi Arabia.
Ruiz believes Joshua was likely looking to go in another direction, but he was nudged to go back to the table for revenge.
"A little bit says yes [he does want it] and a little bit says they’re forcing him to go straight into the rematch. I think he wanted to do something a little different than face me. But it is what is is, we’re fighting in Saudi Arabia and I’m excited. Best man wins,” Ruiz told Express Sport.
“Ever since I won the world title, I’ve had so much love from my people, the hunger still remains. I can’t let my people down or my kids down. This is something new but I don’t want to give it away. What I really want is legacy, not just 15 minutes of fame. I have to remain humble, stay disciplined, listen to my trainer and continue to be champion. [I don’t] struggle paying the bills, the rent, water, electricity and stuff like that. That’s what I’ve been blessed with.
“I’ve watched it a lot of times, man. Not daily but I’ve seen it a lot. I was pinching myself to see if it was real. It was my first time getting dropped but I got up, but I wasn’t really hurt because he got me with a good right hand when he was trying to finish me off and I ate it. [I remember] I was just trying to stay in the pocket and stay in the fight. But I’m the type of fighter that’s going to go in there and give it everything.
“I feel like when we’re in there he’s trying to take my kids’ cheerios, their fruit loops. That’s what gives me that extra motivation. In the seventh round all I could hear was [Manny] screaming and my dad screaming ‘come on, do it for your kids!’ and I’m like ‘shh, calm down, I’m okay’.”