ANTHONY Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr exchanged identical pleasantries as their paths crossed at public training day in a shopping mall beside the One World Trade Center.
The Mexican-American challenger stayed on at ringside after his session to watch Britain’s multiple world heavyweight champion workout.
When Joshua spotted him he walked to the ropes and mouthed: ‘Respect.’ Ruiz replied in exact kind. ‘Respect.’ Both boxers are expected to fight in new York on Saturday. This will be Joshua’s US debut and both boxers wasted no time in addressing their fans.
Joshua said: ‘It will be a bit different in the ring Saturday night but I admire him (Ruiz) for stepping up to fight.’ Joshua further states that he is here to take over.’
A smiling Joshua was cheered to the rafters of Brookfield Place by the crowd of predominantly English onlookers, for several of whom he autographed one dollar bills. Never to be spent.
Joshua looked in peak condition and moved around the ring with ease as he trained with coach Rob McCracken.
Ruiz Jr, stated that it was his ‘destiny’ to become the first Mexican heavyweight champion.
Ruiz Jr took the fight with Joshua after original opponent, Jarrell Miller, was suspended.
Despite a limited amount of time to train, Ruiz Jr said: ‘That’s exactly how I feel. My heart, my mind, my soul. It’s destiny.
‘Things happen for a reason, and the reason is for me to become the first Mexican heavyweight champion of the world.
‘(Joshua’s) got all the belts and everybody’s trying to fight him. He’s a big money name. I’m here to conquer what he has.’