Ruiz v Joshua: Unlikely champion determined to defend heavyweight crowns

World heavyweight boxing champion Andy Ruiz Jr is determined to stretch his time at the top past its prescribed 15 minutes of fame.

The Mexican-American stunned the sport in June, when he upset Anthony Joshua for the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO belts in New York, inflicting the Briton's first defeat as a professional.

With a rematch locked in for December 8 (NZ time) at Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, Ruiz and Joshua have addressed media at the venue, as part of the build-up to 'Clash on the Dunes'.

Ruiz, 29, has embraced the trappings of champion, investing in lavish houses and cars, and enjoying a new lifestyle.

But he is adamant he can put that all behind him to defend his titles.

"June 1, I made my dreams come true," he said. "It took a lot of sacrifice, a lot of blood, sweat and tears.

"I just believed in myself and I think I'm here for a purpose.

"I'm really hungry. A lot of people are saying that I'm not training, I'm not taking it serious, but I've got all these belts and there's a lot of responsibility to this."

Ruiz was a late replacement to fight Joshua, after Jarrell Miller failed three different drugs tests, and was not taken seriously by many before his victory.

He looked cumbersome and overweight, compared to Joshua's athletic physique, but overpowered his rival to stop the fight in the seventh round.

Those questions still hang over the fighter, whose only pro defeat has been at the hands of Kiwi Joseph Parker at Auckland in December 2016.

Fight promoter Eddie Hearn alluded to that discrepancy again at the media conference.

"December 7 [local time], I'm going to make another history," said Ruiz. "I'm going to win here in the same fashion, the same way I won June 1 and I'm going to prove everyone wrong. 

"I don't want to be 15 minutes of fame - I want it to last, I want it to be a generation. I want to be a champion for more years and challenge it.

"I have a good fighter right here next to me and he's going to try to take these belts."

Ruiz reminded Hearn that he had only a few weeks to prepare for the first fight, whereas this time round, he would undergo a full training camp.


Join us on December 8 for live updates of the Andy Ruiz Jr v Anthony Joshua heavyweight title fight


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