Ruiz Jr. visits disabled Saudi children, while Joshua drops in on Misk students

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Andy Ruiz Jr visited the Disabled Children’s Association and Charity Committee for Orphans Care in Riyadh. (Supplied)
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Anthony Joshua took a few hours away from the gym to visit Riyadh’s Misk Schools and prepare for the fight in what he called ‘a creative way.’ (Supplied)
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Andy Ruiz Jr visited the Disabled Children’s Association and Charity Committee for Orphans Care in Riyadh. (Supplied)
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Anthony Joshua took a few hours away from the gym to visit Riyadh’s Misk Schools and prepare for the fight in what he called ‘a creative way.’ (Supplied)
Updated 02 December 2019

Ruiz Jr. visits disabled Saudi children, while Joshua drops in on Misk students

  • Ruiz Jr. took time off from training for the biggest fight of his career to support disadvantaged children in the Saudi capital
  • AJ engages in mutually beneficial cultural exchange with visit to students at Misk Schools

RIYADH: Mexican-American boxing superstar Andy Ruiz Jr.’s quest to defend his heavyweight boxing title in what is dubbed ‘Clash on the Dunes’, presented by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), took an inspiring turn when Ruiz Jr. delivered a double visit to the Disabled Children’s Association and Charity Committee for Orphans Care in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to give time and support to disadvantaged children.

The boxing heavyweight champion first visited the Disabled Children’s Association, one of the largest disabled children’s rehabilitation institutions in the Arab region, where he took time to engage with disabled children by giving away backpacks containing goodies, autographed merchandise, offered words of encouragement and took pictures with the children.

“It feels good giving back to the community,” said Ruiz Jr. “I wanted to show them love and support and to let them know Andy Ruiz is here to support them with anything they need.”

But he was not finished there. After visiting the Disabled Children’s Association in the morning, Ruiz paid a visit to the Charity Committee for Orphans Care later that same afternoon, speaking to children there and offering words of encouragement and inspiration to children growing up without families.

Of his time in Saudi Arabia, Ruiz reflected on discovering different cultures and his experience with the Saudi culture, praising the people especially for their kindness. “I love it, the people have a lot of love and respect. I felt that especially with the kids,” Ruiz Jr. added.

Meanwhile, Anthony Joshua took a few hours away from the gym to visit Misk Schools and prepare for the fight in what he called “a creative way.”

The Olympic gold medalist visited Misk Schools, a newly established school that aims to use real-world experiential learning to help students learn through an extensive range of project- and field-based experiences, enabling them to understand the relevance of their learning to the world beyond the classroom.

AJ’s visit turned out to be a mutually beneficial cultural exchange experience. He talked to the children about the benefits of sports and why they should always maintain a healthy lifestyle. The youngsters also had a chance to spend the afternoon with the boxer asking him all about his fights and how he trains and got their own private glove signing session.

In turn, The Watford born heavyweight saw the school visit as a chance to connect with the community and further understand the culture of the home of his upcoming fight. To him, mentally preparing for the fight is just as important as the physical preparation, and this was one of his ways of doing so.

Commenting on the visit Joshua said, “This is different now. This is a different arena, a different country, and a different experience. The ritual I followed in England can’t work here. That’s why I’m coming to this school, to connect with the people.”

The heavyweight has changed up much of his training process. He is working intensely and with a new sparring partner that closely fits the fighting style of Andy Ruiz. He is looking at the preparation for this fight in a new and different way.

“It will help me find a process that will work for me to be victorious. I’m looking forward to being creative and successful,” said AJ.

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Anthony Joshua wins Clash on the Dunes in Saudi Arabia on points against Andy Ruiz Jr.

Updated 08 December 2019

Anthony Joshua wins Clash on the Dunes in Saudi Arabia on points against Andy Ruiz Jr.

  • British boxer won by a unanimous decision
  • New champion thanked Saudi Arabia for hosting the fight

RIYADH: Anthony Joshua reclaimed his world heavyweight title belts after a points decision over Andy Ruiz Jr. in the Clash on the Dunes on Sunday morning in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.

The British boxer won by a unanimous decision from the judges after outboxing Ruiz Jr., especially in the later rounds.

In the first heavyweight title fight to be held in the Middle East, Joshua dominated a self-proclaimed "overweight" Ruiz Jr. over 12 solid, but largely uninspiring, rounds to win back the WBA, WBO and IBF belts, and avengeget revenge for his shock upset by his Mexican-American opponent six months ago in New York.

“Sometimes simplicity is genius. I was outclassing the champion,” Joshua said.

“I am used to knocking people out, but last time I got hurt so I gave the man his credit. I said I would correct myself again.

“I just wanted to put on a great boxing masterclass and also show the sweet science of this lovely sport. It’s about hitting and not getting hit.

British boxer Anthony Joshua, right, regained his world heavyweight title last night in front of 30,000 fight fans in a thrilling contest at the new Diriyah arena outside Riyadh, against the Mexican-American Andy Ruiz Jr.  (Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing , Dave Thompson/Matchroom and Ian Walton/Matchroom)

"Sometimes with certain fighters you have to box smarter. I understand what Andy brought to the table so I had to decapitate him in a different way,” he said.

Ruiz Jr. admitted he hadn't trained well enough for the rematch and got “boxed around.”

“The partying got the best of me," he said.  “I didn’t prepare how I should have. I gained too much weight. I don’t want to give excuses, he won ... If we do a third fight, you best believe I’m going to get in shape. I’ll be in the best shape of my life.”

Joshua immediately paid tribute to his opponent after the fight, thanking the Mexican fighter and his family, Saudi Arabia for hosting and the traveling fans who made the journey to the Kingdom.

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