DIRIYAH, SAUDI ARABIA (AFP) – Anthony Joshua said on Wednesday he will not celebrate if he regains his world heavyweight title, as he faced off with rival Andy Ruiz in a final press conference before their controversial rematch in Saudi Arabia.
Joshua seeks to win back the IBF, WBA and WBO titles that he lost to Ruiz in a shock June defeat in New York in a high-profile duel tomorrow, dubbed ‘Clash on the Dunes’.
The British boxer, 30, said he was “hungry, determined and focussed” as he appeared alongside Ruiz in a press conference in Diriyah, close to the Saudi capital Riyadh.
“I am not here to put on a show, I am here to win,” he said.
“When I regain those belts… I am going to keep calm, stay focussed. It’s not a time to celebrate. It’s a time to keep that challenger mindset and move on to the next target.”
But Ruiz insisted he would stay unbeaten.
“There’s no way that I’m going to let these belts go,” he said.
“I am going to die trying and do anything that’s possible. It’s been a long journey and a long rollercoaster in my life, and now that my dream has come true I will never let this go.
Ruiz said all the pressure was on Joshua ahead of the rematch.
“I know (Joshua) is going to come with a different game plan, I know he’s prepared and I know he’s motivated,” he said.
“I know he’s lost weight and will try to box me around, but it’s just my job to prevent that. I’m ready for whatever comes my way.”
The rematch will take place in Diriyah, home to a UNESCO World Heritage site and a dramatic contrast to the iconic Madison Square Garden which hosted the first fight between the two men which ended in a seventh-round stoppage.