Ruiz v Joshua II: There is no fear in my heart, eye or mind, says determined AJ

By Peter Hanson 5 December 2019 39
Ruiz v Joshua II: There is no fear in my heart, eye or mind, says determined AJ

Anthony Joshua insists there is no fear in his heart, eyes or mind but says it will not rank as a "special moment" if he can reclaim his heavyweight titles from Andy Ruiz Jr.

The Briton is out to reclaim the IBF, WBA and WBO straps he shockingly lost to Ruiz in New York in June, with Joshua falling to a seventh-round stoppage.

'AJ' has his chance at redemption in Saudi Arabia on Saturday and the 30-year-old insists the experience he has gained throughout his career will stand him in good stead.

"It's interesting this side of the table," Joshua told a news conference. "In my 16th fight I challenged [for a world title], then I challenged again with [Wladimir] Klitschko, then with [Joseph] Parker. So, this is my fourth time challenging.

"I've been boxing for a while now and when I came into boxing I didn't come to take part, I came to take over, with full force, fully committed.

"The focus was always there but I have had a chance to reflect. Olympics, British title, world title, boom, boom boom.

"Looking at the board, I've fought [Eric] Molina, [Alexander] Povetkin, [Dillian] Whyte, [Magomedrasul] Majidov and sparred with [Tom] Little and [Mariusz] Wach.

"I've been around the block in this game in a short space of time, I'm experienced.

"I didn't lose heart or fire in my belly. There is no fear in my heart, my eyes or my mind. I want to put on a show, I'm confident."

Regaining the belts is the target, but Joshua said: "I was asked, 'Would this be a special moment?'. I said no, because I belong there, it's not special.

"When I regain the belts I'll remain cool, remain focused. It's not a time to celebrate. I will keep cool and keep a challenger's mindset and move on to the next target."

Champion Ruiz acknowledges a refocused and energised Joshua poses a different threat this time around, but he has no intention of letting the belts go.

"AJ will come with a different game-plan and I know he is prepared, so I will be more cautious," Ruiz said.

"He lost weight and will try to box me around. I don't want to let these beautiful belts go.

"Now that I finally made my dreams come true, there is no way I will let them go."

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Peter Hanson