By: Jerome Souza (@Jerome510)
Undefeated heavyweight Andy Ruiz Jr. is training for his first crack at the heavyweight title picture when he takes on fellow unbeaten Joseph Parker of New Zealand. Ruiz, who was born and raised in Imperial Valley, California but has roots in Mexicali, Mexico from his early years of training, told FirstClassBoxing.com, “I’m training my hardest. I want to become the first Mexican heavyweight champion”.
Ruiz and Parker will be fighting for the WBO belt which was vacated after titleholder Tyson Fury withdrew from his rematch with Wladimir Klitschko. The Parker-Ruiz fight was originally scheduled to take place in Auckland, New Zealand, on December 10, but recent financial issues have arose and the location may be moved to the United States on a later date. This change of plans shouldn’t take away from Ruiz’s focus. The Top Rank boxer puts his career plans in the hands of one of the most successful promotion companies in boxing. Ruiz is pleased with his relationship with Top Rank primarily because, “they really know how to develop fighters”.
To further ensure a victory, Ruiz decided to start training with world-renowned trainer Abel Sanchez at his home base in Big Bear, California. Since joining Sanchez, Ruiz has clearly noticed the difference in his training techniques. “The training here is a lot different, a lot harder, it’s more disciplined here”. After spending a relatively short time working with Sanchez, Ruiz has already began to see immediate results. “The world is going to see a different Andy from the past”. Ruiz also told FirstClassBoxing.com that he’s the thinnest and most fit in years. Ruiz enjoys Sanchez’s camp because there are no distractions and they train from the morning to the evening. Ruiz referred to himself as a “faster more explosive Andy, more thinner and in shape Andy”. Sanchez has already brought in multiple sparring partners including Karo Murat, to prepare Ruiz for the size and style of Parker.
What does work in Ruiz’s favor is that Parker is not a complete stranger. Ruiz told FirstClassBoxing.com that he and Parker sparred in Las Vegas two years ago. However, Ruiz stressed that their previous sparring sessions will not make him content come fight night since “every man in the ring is dangerous”.
Prior to the report of a change of venue and date, FirstClassBoxing.com asked Ruiz what it will be like to travel to Parker’s home country and fight him in his backyard. “It’s a big challenge and actually more motivation for me to train harder because I know Im going to have to win clearly or by knockout”. Ruiz is realistic in fact that it may be difficult to earn the nod from the judges on foreign soil. But, Ruiz will not take any chances and will fight the way he knows best. “I’m not going to be looking for the knockout, I’m going to fight my fight”.
FirstClassBoxing.com asked Ruiz what will make the difference for him coming out on top in his fight against Parker. “The speed and the aggressiveness and the combinations that I throw, a lot of people underestimate me because I’m big and flabby but I’ve fought nothing but chiseled, big, strong guys and [I’ve] proved them wrong […] I’m one of the few heavyweights that likes to punch a lot”. Ruiz’s style dates back to his days from watching his idols Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., Evander Holyfield, and Mike Tyson. “I always wanted to be the Mexican Mike Tyson”.
If Ruiz captures the WBO belt against Parker, he already has plans to continue his quest to unify the heavyweight division. “I would like to take the next fight to Mexico City in front of all my people”. Ruiz has not forgotten his deep Mexican roots and wants to pay tribute to those who have supported him over the years. “I’m from a small hometown where everyone knows everyone”. If successful in Mexico, Ruiz said he would cherish an opportunity to fight in the U.K. “I would love to fight Joshua in London for my title and his title”.
Ruiz will look to shine this winter in his WBO title fight against Parker. Ruiz wants fans to know he’ll “be able to destroy Joseph Parker” and to know him as “The Destroyer”. In the end, Ruiz hopes to “give the fans and everyone a great fight and a great show”. Ruiz is confident his title shot was given just at the right moment in his career. “Once it’s your time its your time and December 10 is my time”.by