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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England pace aces create ‘headache’ for Root ahead of Pakistan Tests

Updated 03 August 2020

England pace aces create ‘headache’ for Root ahead of Pakistan Tests

  • England have the luxury of six specialist pacemen in their 14-man squad for this week’s first Test against Pakistan 
  • Hosts rotated their quicks during last month’s 2-1 series win over the West Indies which forms a program of six Tests in seven weeks

LONDON: England have the luxury of six specialist pacemen in their 14-man squad for this week’s first Test against Pakistan at Old Trafford — a welcome “headache” for captain Joe Root.
The skipper can call on veteran new-ball partners James Anderson and Stuart Broad, the express pace of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood and the impressive Sam Curran and Chris Woakes.
The hosts rotated their quicks during last month’s 2-1 series win over the West Indies which, together with the upcoming campaign against Pakistan, forms a program of six Tests in seven weeks.
That is a particularly tough schedule for fast bowlers in a season cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.
England’s management has argued no paceman can play all six Tests, with the restrictions imposed by maintaining a bio-secure “bubble” requiring several options to be immediately at hand.
But it is an issue they will need to handle with care given they have now lost the opener in eight of their past 10 multi-match Test series, which for all their resilience could prove costly if it happens against Pakistan.
Broad revealed on Sunday he felt “so low” after being omitted from the West Indies opener that he considered retiring.
The recalled Broad responded with 16 wickets at a miserly average of under 11 in the next two matches as he joined long-standing England new-ball colleague Anderson as one of a select group of seven bowlers to have taken 500 Test wickets.
At 34, and bowling a generally fuller length which makes his ability to move the ball late off the seam an even more challenging proposition, Broad is in arguably the best form of his career.
Anderson, four years older and a swing bowler who thrives in home conditions, is closing in on 600 Test wickets, with England’s all-time leading bowler clearly not done yet.


World Cup winners Archer and Wood provide England with the option of genuine 90-miles-per-hour-plus pace, with speed through the air an asset even when pitch and overhead conditions favor the batsmen.
Then there is Curran, whose left-arm angle adds variety to an otherwise all right-arm attack. The Surrey bowler has won every Test he has played in at home.
Woakes, who took 5-50 in the West Indies decider, has a better home average than either Broad or Anderson, with his 81 Test wickets in England coming at just 22 apiece.
Woakes is now more inclined to deploy a sharp bouncer, which makes it harder for batsmen to routinely push forward in the hope of blunting his movement.
That still leaves the pace bowling of star all-rounder Ben Stokes who, as he showed before guiding England to an astounding one-wicket win with a brilliant century during last year’s Headingley Test against Australia, can also drag his side back into matches by sheer force of personality with the ball.
But the West Indies finale may serve as a model for England.
Stokes was unfit to bowl, although he featured as a batsman, and that meant England deployed Anderson, Broad, Archer and Woakes in an attack featuring spinner Dom Bess after omitting batsman Zak Crawley.
England could now drop Bess or still play four specialist quicks even if Stokes is fit to bowl for the first Test, which starts at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
There were times when Archer, who clearly thrives on responsibility, was relegated to the role of first and second change during the West Indies finale and appeared to bowl accordingly.
Archer was making his return after missing the second Test due to a breach of coronavirus protocols.
It may be, however, that even Anderson and Broad will have to accept they cannot always be the “main men” from now on.
England often appear so obsessed with the Ashes that the opponent in front of them becomes relegated to a warm-up act for their next confrontation with Australia.
But this season’s compressed schedule may have inadvertently given England a template for how to regain the urn Down Under in 2021/22.
“With the talent that’s waiting in the wings it’s an exciting place to be and long may those headaches continue,” said Root.