Andy Ruiz Jr tells Anthony Joshua to his face that he ‘quit’ in first fight, plans to end his career in rematch
Andy Ruiz Jr told Anthony Joshua he believes he did ‘quit’ at the end of their first fight in June.
The unified heavyweight world champion also stated that he’s planning to end AJ’s career in their upcoming rematch as he sees the fight as a ‘him or me’ scenario.
During the Sky Sports face-to-face ‘Gloves Are Off’ show, host Johnny Nelson asked Ruiz Jr whether he agreed with the people who have claimed Joshua ‘quit’ when their fight was stopped in the seventh round.
The Mexican-American replied: “A little bit. I feel he quit because of the way that it was won.
“I think he was still out of it, I didn’t think he knew where he was at that moment. I think that he quit.”
Joshua replied: “The referee waved off the fight. It’s just opinion, innit. I roll with it, I ride with it, I’m a champion through and through, no matter what anyone says to me.”
When asked if he’d ever do the same thing in that situation, Ruiz replied: ”Depends how hurt I was. I’m not gonna quit, if I fall I fall.”
Joshua then said: “The conclusion is, ‘I quit,’ but I feel like why wouldn’t I have stayed though?”
Ruiz appeared to agree: “He was still up, the referee was the one that waved it off.”
And AJ responded again: “Why wouldn’t I have stayed though? He hit me with a shot I couldn’t recover from and I still stuck in there.”
Conversation then turned to what happens after the bout for the winner or loser.
Some have suggested Joshua could retire from the sport should he be beaten again, and the champion made no bones about the fact he’s planning to end the Brit’s career.
“I have to,” Ruiz Jr said, “I have to, right? He’s trying to take my career as well.
“It’s either me or him inside the ring. I will and I am.”
Joshua and Ruiz both arrived in Saudi Arabia at the start of the week ahead of part 2.
The fight is taking place in Riyadh and a purpose-built arena has been constructed for the contest, with a capacity of 15,000.
Ruiz Jr initially kicked up a fuss about fighting in the Middle East, but all issues were soon resolved.
The WBA, IBF & WBO heavyweight titles will be at stake, although it is thought that the winner will almost certainly have to vacate at least one of the belts as a queue of mandatory challengers are forming to contest the crown.