NEW YORK (Reuters) – Andy Ruiz Jr. hopes to use his extra weight as a weapon against heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua when the pair meet on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.
Joshua will defend his IBF, WBA and WBO titles against Ruiz, who is looking to become the first Mexican heavyweight champion.
While the 1.98m tall Briton came in at 247 1/2 pounds for his debut fight in the United States, Ruiz tipped the scales at 268 pounds during Friday’s weigh in.
The 29-year-old hopes the pounds will help him overcome his height and reach disadvantage.
“That was the game plan,” Ruiz told reporters. “We’re fighting someone big, someone taller than me. So I want to carry that weight well so my punches are going to hit harder.”
Joshua brings an undefeated record of 22 wins, including 21 knockouts, to the ring against Ruiz (32-1, 21 KOs). He had been scheduled to fight Jarrell Miller but the New York State Athletic Commission refused to sanction the fight after Miller failed a drugs test.
“Tomorrow night, I put the titles in the air and they’re up for grabs,” Joshua said. “And me and him go to war. So the best man wins.”
(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford)