Boxing: I will die trying to defend my title against Joshua, says Ruiz Jr

FILE PHOTO: Boxing - Andy Ruiz Jr & Anthony Joshua Press Conference - Diriyah, Saudi Arabia - December 4, 2019 Andy Ruiz Jr poses after the press conference Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

(Reuters) – World heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr has said he fulfilled a lifelong dream when he triumphed over Britain’s Anthony Joshua in June and he would “die trying” to defend his belts in the title rematch in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

Mexican-American Ruiz produced one of boxing’s biggest upsets when he dethroned the previously undefeated world champion Joshua with a seventh-round stoppage at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

“I have been doing this since I was six and it is finally paying off,” Ruiz told the BBC. “There is no way I am going to let these belts go, I will die trying.

“It has been a roller-coaster and now that I made the dreams come true there is no way I will let these go.”

Joshua has trimmed down ahead of the second WBA, IBF and WBO title showdown with an eye on taking the contest deep into the latter rounds, saying he expects a “marathon, not a sprint”.

The Briton has also been taking advice on his training regime and diet from former world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in his bid to reclaim the title at the fight dubbed the ‘Clash on the Dunes’.

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