IMPERIAL — Boxing’s undisputed Heavyweight Champion, the Valley’s own Andy Ruiz Jr., arrived at Alford Distributing in Imperial Friday, June 21, for a press conference where various local, regional, and national media agencies were in attendance for a Q&A session and potential interviews with the champ.
Ruiz’s family members arrived first in a burgundy and black Rolls Royce convertible before the champ and his camp arrived.
Ruiz’s entourage included his father Andy Ruiz Sr., brother Danny Ruiz, David Garcia, and trainer Edgar Jasso.
The press conference was fashioned in two, one-round segments where each media outlet was allowed to ask questions pertaining to Ruiz’s professional career, parade festivities, and upcoming rematch with Anthony Joshua.
“I feel that I have an edge, he’s probably gonna be thinking in the back of his head, ‘how did this chubby kid beat me?’” said Ruiz about having an edge over Joshua after the first victory. “I think he’s going to be running through the fight over and over (in his mind) just like I’ve been. We just gotta stick to the game plan and execute what we gotta do in the rematch.”
November or December is the anticipated fight month, but no date or venue has officially been confirmed.
A few locations in the United Kingdom and Madison Square Garden have been tossed around as potential fight sites.
The Ruiz/Joshua rematch would be Ruiz’s third fight in an eight-month span.
“Looks are deceiving,” said trainer Jasso. “He works like any flyweight or any bantamweight or junior welterweight. This kid has a lot of heart, he’s got a lot of speed, he’s got a lot of power, and he’s got a lot of abilities. He’s got a lot of talent and a lot of people slept on Andy.”
In the second wave of questions, Ruiz discussed how growing up in a small town impacted his career.
“Everybody was saying, ‘you’re putting Imperial on the map, you’re putting the Imperial Valley on the map,’” said Ruiz. “It feels good to come from a small town where everybody knows everybody, and me, from just being this chubby kid who’s now doing all these big things feels really great, and I just hope that I can get to motivate a lot of people and, hopefully, when I build my gym I could create a champion of my own as well.”
“One motto that we have about working hard is that it’s not a secret,” said Jasso. “You work hard, you do what you have to do, and you can accomplish a lot. Obviously, everybody is trying to chase their own dreams.”