Andy Ruiz Jr admitted that he let the celebrations get the better of him following his heavyweight title win as he was defeated by Anthony Joshua in the highly anticipated rematch in Saudi Arabia on Saturday night.
Ruiz Jr caused one of boxing’s biggest ever upset as he defeated Joshua in Madison Square Garden in June, despite only stepping into the fight on short notice and coming in as the heavy underdog to claim the world heavyweight titles.
On Saturday night, Joshua got the opportunity to right the one wrong on his 24 fight record and tactically dominated the rematch, appearing to learn from his MSG mistakes, taking the victory and the titles via a unanimous decision.
Ruiz Jr came into the fight 283 pounds and significantly heavier than he had been when he defeated AJ in June, with many experts feeling the extra weight negatively affected his performance.
The 30-year-old lasted the 12 rounds but did not look nearly as sharp as he had been when the pair first clashed, and speaking after the fight, in quotes reported by Business Insider, Ruiz Jr made the stark admission that he may have partied a little too hard in the months following his heavyweight title win.
Me, my dad, and my team were talking … I should have listened to them,” Ruiz Jr. said.
“I think we started [training] too late. Three months of partying, celebrating, affected me. What can I say.
“I shouldn’t have put on all this weight. I tried to do my kind of training on my own and I’m sorry to [trainer] Manny [Robles], my dad, I got too confident in myself.”
After the fight Ruiz Jr called for the trilogy bout between the pair although it may have to wait, with Oleksandr Usyk reportedly set to be the next mandatory challenger to the WBO title.
The first ever Mexican heavyweight champion concluded that should the dead rubber happen between he and Joshua, Ruiz Jr will “be a lot better.”
“I know for the third one I’m going to be a lot better.”
He added: “There’s a lot of responsibility being a champion of the world. I think the partying and all that stuff got the best of me. Next time it’ll be a lot better.”