Andy Ruiz reveals he has agreed a mega-bucks fight with Deontay Wilder
Andy Ruiz Jr reveals he has agreed a mega-bucks fight with Deontay Wilder ALREADY as he takes life in the fast lane in his stride ahead of rematch with Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia
- Andy Ruiz Jr shocked the world when he defeated Anthony Joshua in New York
- Ruiz, a last-minute replacement, knocked Joshua down four times on June 1
- Ahead of the rematch, Ruiz admits a fight with Deontay Wilder is already planned
- The Mexican has been revelling in the fame of a world heavyweight champion
The conventional wisdom is that a boxer risks ill fortune and toys dangerously with distraction if he so much as thinks about the next opponent after the one about to come gunning for him out of the opposite corner. Let alone talks about it.
But then, as the self-described chubby kid, Andy Ruiz Jr has been defying the preconceptions of prize-fighting since his father took him to a gym at the age of six and he started beating up older and taller boys.
So he has no hesitation in revealing that he and Deontay Wilder are negotiating a mega-bucks super fight for the undisputed world heavyweight championship, even as he readies himself to defend the titles already in his possession in his desert rematch against Anthony Joshua this Saturday night.
Andy Ruiz with his wife Julie during a parade in his honour on June 22 in Imperial, California
The 30-year-old has splashed out since his win in June, particularly on a range of cars
‘Yep, it’s all arranged,’ says the rotund Ruiz, who came out of nowhere to spring one of the most amazing upsets in the annals of the ring by knocking out Joshua in New York this summer.
Of Wilder, the Bronze Bomber whose explosive fists knock down all who dare to challenge for his WBC title, Ruiz says: ‘Deontay’s a good friend of mine.
‘We talk on the telephone all the time.’
For their grand design to become golden reality, not only must Ruiz beat Joshua a second time but Wilder has to win the February rematch of his epic draw with Tyson Fury.
A fight against Deontay Wilder is all arranged according to Ruiz, should he beat Joshua again
Mere trifles, apparently.
Ruiz points out that both he and Wilder are promoted by Al Haymon, the financial shadow boxer who pulls the purse strings for Mister Money himself, Floyd Mayweather.
‘Al’s told us the plan,’ he says.
Whatever Al wants, Al is in the habit of getting for himself and his stable.
Ruiz attended numerous events in his native Mexico following his victory over Joshua in June
Ruiz with the Mexico president Andres Manuel Lopez at the National Palace in Mexico City
So Ruiz feels at ease blowing a nought or two off the first seven figure paydays of his career.
‘Being rich and famous is going really well,’ he says with his ever-ready chuckle as he reaches out for the $13 million cheque written in Saudi Arabian oil which will more than replenish however much has been spent so far of the $5 million bite he took out of the Big Apple six months ago.
Moments after he turned Joshua’s world upside down Ruiz called out to his mother: ‘Mum, we don’t have to struggle any more.’ Senora Ruiz was wreathed in smiles as she waved back from the madding crowd.
Not only had her laughing boy secured the family fortunes but she and most of their many relatives had snaffled ten thousand dollars each by backing him at 11-1.
Ruiz won four world heavyweight title belts, and makes his first defence on December 7
The journey from a dusty border town to the wealth which comes with being the first world heavyweight champion of Mexican origin was complete. Almost.
All that remained was a car ride. As soon as he arrived back home in the southern Californian town of Imperial he borrowed a flash convertible and drove down the main street through cheering crowds, brandishing aloft those glittering belts.
A couple of days later he went and bought his own high-end methods of transport. A white Rolls Bentley and a Porsche Panamera. The spree has continued with purchases of two brands of top-of-the range G-wagons and a Lamborghini.
Ruiz poses with the white Rolls Bentley he bought following his victory against Joshua
‘They’ve been my maddest purchases so far,’ he says. ‘Plus I bought my mum and dad a truck. We’ve been having fun. It gets a bit overwhelming at times but this is what I’ve been working for all my life.’
He describes the diamond encrusted watch and bracelet adorning his wrists as ‘little bits of merchandise.’ But it is cars which are the status symbol of choice on both sides of the divide between Mexico and its economically distant neighbour.
His fleet are garaged now in another of his purchases, the sprawling hacienda which stands in mesquite scrubland on the edge of town.
No doubt his father advised him on this purchase. Andy Sr, a construction worker when he and his wife first immigrated to the US where Ruiz was born, bettered himself by ‘flipping’ houses. That is the American term for buying properties and selling them on for a quick profit.
The 30-year-old Andy Jr’s new home includes the obligatory pool amid sparkling fountains along with tennis and basketball courts. As well as more than enough bedrooms to accommodate himself his wife and their five children in addition to any friends and family wanting to stay over.
He has also taken to giving tours of the estate to townsfolk who drive out to see how their hero is getting along. Luxurious his accommodations may be but this is not a champion who lives in an ivory tower.
Ruiz is a man of the people. In his heart, the Mexican people. Although grateful for all that America has given himself and his folks, it was the Mexican president’s residence, Los Pinos, to which he took his recently acquired WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO belts. Not the White House.
Ruiz, a big Chivas fan, went to a game in September and spent plenty of time with the fans
And although his dual citizenship is enhancing his earning power it is his fellow Mexicans to whom he is promising he will ‘do everything humanly possible to keep those belts for our country.’
That has included improving his diet for the last three of the six months since he dropped Joshua four times in seven rounds.
However Ruiz still resembles that corpulent figure who shocked the world having been bred from boyhood on Snickers bars and such delicacies as his mother’s pollo mole, a traditional dish of roast chicken smothered in fiery chocolate.
Will he stick with his habit of scoffing two Snickers before making his ring walk into the temporary stadium erected just for this occasion: ‘Oh yeah.’
So ‘chubby’ was he as a boy that his nickname ‘Destroyer’ was given to him by his father not for the boxing for which he took this hyper lad to the gym at the age of six but because of the way he blundered about the house like a young bull smashing the china.
In fact, despite the knocking over of Joshua and a majority of his 34 opponents, that ring pseudonym belies the slickest of heavyweight fighting styles. He is startlingly quick on his feet and even faster with his fists as he lets fly with rapid-fire combinations.
Even his record is slightly deceptive. The one defeat was recorded in his only previous world title fight but most observers believe he was robbed by scandalous home-town scoring in New Zealand in favour of Joseph Parker.
Ruiz left nothing to chance against Joshua and is so confident of doing so again that he risked inflaming our A J’s wrath by accusing him to his face on television of surrendering in the first fight.
Ruiz Jr. pictured at the makeshift stadium where he will defend his titles on Saturday night
He told the interviewer: ‘Yep, he spat out his mouthpiece and then he was waiting too long to fight again. Yep, I felt in my heart he quit.’ The ultimate insult.
Joshua kept his cool but Ruiz says: ‘I’m pretty sure he was mad at me. I guess he thought ”you mother f……” I respect him as a man and would give him a hug outside the ring. But I want him to be angry and swinging in the fight because I will be calm and that will make it easier for me to knock him out again.’
Andy Ruiz is having fun. We will soon discover what Anthony Joshua feels about that.
Ruiz v Joshua will be televised exclusively live this Saturday night on Sky Sports Box Office, £24.95
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