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

1 / 4
Andy Ruiz Jr visited the Disabled Children’s Association and Charity Committee for Orphans Care in Riyadh. (Supplied)
2 / 4
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)
3 / 4
Andy Ruiz Jr visited the Disabled Children’s Association and Charity Committee for Orphans Care in Riyadh. (Supplied)
4 / 4
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.

Related


Nadal dazzles as Sharapova hits all-time low at Australian Open

Updated 21 January 2020

Nadal dazzles as Sharapova hits all-time low at Australian Open

  • Nadal, the first player to be world No. 1 in three different decades, is still thriving at 33

MELBOURNE: Top seed Rafael Nadal turned on the style as he launched his bid for a record-equaling 20th Major title at the Australian Open on Tuesday, but falling star Maria Sharapova hit a career low.

Australia’s Nick Kyrgios also cantered into the second round, but fourth seed Daniil Medvedev had to fight his way past American Frances Tiafoe in four sets.

Nadal, one shy of Roger Federer’s Grand Slam mark, dropped only five games as he swatted aside Bolivia’s Hugo Dellien 6-2, 6-3, 6-0 in just over two hours at a sunny Rod Laver Arena.

“It was a positive start,” said the reigning Roland Garros and US Open champion, wearing a bright pink singlet and matching trainers.

“What you want in the first round is just to win, and it’s better if it’s in straight sets.”

He joins Federer and defending champion Novak Djokovic in round two as the Big Three look to tighten a stranglehold that has brought them all but one of the last 14 Australian Open titles.

Nadal, the first player to be world No. 1 in three different decades, is still thriving at 33 but it’s a different story for five-time Grand Slam winner Sharapova.

The 32-year-old, playing on a wildcard as she wrestles with a shoulder injury, lost 3-6, 4-6 to Croatian 19th seed Donna Vekic, making her an opening-round loser at three straight Grand Slams for the first time.

The future looks uncertain for the former world No. 1, who won Wimbledon when she was just 17 but has not reached a Grand Slam final since she lifted the 2014 French Open trophy.

“I can speak about my struggles and the things that I’ve gone through with my shoulder, but it’s not really in my character to,” Sharapova said.

“I was there, I put myself out there (playing). As tough as it was, I finished the match — it wasn’t the way that I wanted.”

Britain’s Johanna Konta, a two-time Slam semifinalist, also fell at the first hurdle as she battles to overcome a knee problem, losing 4-6, 2-6 to unseeded Tunisian Ons Jabeur. On a bumper day of 88 first-round matches, after rain wiped out half of Monday’s schedule, former US Open champion Marin Cilic and Milos Raonic both moved safely through.

Italy’s Fabio Fognini, two sets down against America’s Reilly Opelka when their match was suspended on Monday, returned to win it in five after a stormy encounter when both players argued furiously with the umpire.