Andy Ruiz admits he gained too much weight ahead of his heavyweight title rematch with Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia this weekend.
Ruiz shocked the world by scoring a seventh round knockout win over Joshua to claim the WBA (super), WBF, IBO and IBF titles in their first encounter in June at Madison Square Garden. Six months later, there was another shock at the weigh-ins ahead of the rematch, as Ruiz tipped the scales at a whopping 283 pounds.
That’s 15 pounds heavier than their first meeting, rmaking the American the second heaviest defending heavyweight champion in boxing history behind seven foot tall Nikolai Valuev.
Meanwhile, Joshua shed 10 pounds to 237 as he prepared to win back his heavyweight titles.
In the event, Joshua put on a boxing masterclass, moving as well as he ever has and jabbing Ruiz into oblivion to win a one-sided unanimous decision with scores of 118-108 118-108 and 119-109.
Speaking after the fight, Ruiz admitted that he’d gained too much weight and hadn’t trained like he should have.
“It was his night. I didn’t prepare how I should have,” he said. “I gained too much weight.
“He won, he boxed me around. If we do it a third time, I’m going to be in shape. I thought I was going to be stronger and better, but next fight I’m going to be more well prepared. I don’t want to give any excuses.”
Joshua ranked the victory second amoung his wins, with only his knockout of Wladimir Klitschko above it.
“I respect Andy, a man that beat me fair and square, it was like an exam I failed the first time, but I came back and studied harder and I got the W,” he said. “Where does it rank? Number two, because the fight with Wladimir Klitschko meant so much to me because I learnt so much.
“I respect Wladimir so much because he gives me so much advice. That fight with Wladimir is what created this night here, and that’s why it will always rank number one.”