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Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr face off ahead of Middle East re-match

Shane Hannon
Shane Hannon

08:33 4 Sep 2019


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British heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua says he is confident he will get his world title belts back on December 7th.

He came come face-to-face today for the first time since June with the IBF, WBA, and WBO world champion Andy Ruiz Junior of Mexico for the first time since their clash in New York in June.

The pair have a rematch in the desert in Saudi Arabia at the end of the year.

Olympic gold medallist Joshua lost the WBA (Super), WBO, IBF, and IBO heavyweight titles to his Mexican opponent at Madison Square Garden in New York on June 1st.

'The Destroyer' Ruiz was a last-ditch replacement for Jarrell Miller, who failed a drugs test. Joshua suffered a shock seventh-round TKO stoppage defeat to Ruiz in the fight.

Today's face-off was the first of the week, with a similar arrangement in New York tomorrow and London on Friday.

Ruiz Jr made calls for the bout to be held in the location of his first-ever professional fight - Tijuana.

The current champion was born in California but his parents are from Mexico.

Last month, promoter Eddie Hearn defended the choice of Saudi Arabia as the location for the re-match. The December fight is set to take place in the city of Diriyah, on the outskirts of the Saudi capital Riyadh.

Speaking at today's face-off in the Middle East, Joshua said he was ready to be the champion again.

“I lost the titles but I’ve always said that being a champion is about more than just the belts. Being a champion is about responsibility and mindset.

“When we fight, those belts will go in the air. Two warriors will go into the ring, and the best man will walk out victorious.”

Joshua also reflected on his own origins in the sport as he gets set for an intense three months of training.

“My parents’ heritage is from Nigeria and I was born in London. I learned to box when I was growing up in England, but I was only doing it for a mindset thing.

"I got into trouble when I was younger and I needed to change my mindset."

 

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