Parker-Ruiz Final Press Conference
The final press conference has been held for Saturday night’s WBO title fight between undefeated fighters Joseph Parker and Andy Ruiz Jr. — ranked No. 1 and No. 3 in the WBO’s rankings, respectively.
The bout will take place in Parker’s home country of New Zealand, at the Vector Arena in Auckland. Parker (21-0, 18 KOs), who is fighting in his fifth fight in this calendar year, plans to utilize the home-crowd advantage to the fullest extent, and he sees this fight as a way to finally leave a big mark in today’s boxing scene.
"I will use the support in the building to motivate me and that will drive me throughout the fight," Parker said. "Andy wants to take the belt back with him and I want to keep it here. I want to go out there and win this and win it well. I know Andy is a nice guy and there is no hate between us. But when the bell rings on Saturday night we flip the switch and we will each be trying to knock the other guy out."
His opponent, Ruiz (29-0, 19 KOs), has been praised by many for how he looks and his fast hands heading into Saturday night’s fight. Ruiz is looking to make history by becoming the first boxer of Mexican descent to win a boxing heavyweight title. This is also Ruiz’s first major title opportunity under trainer Abel Sanchez.
Despite the odds on his side and history potentially on the horizon, Ruiz feels there are many out there who are overlooking him.
"This is my chance and I didn’t come all the way to New Zealand to lose," Ruiz said. "I know everyone is underestimating me. I know I trained hard for this fight. I hear everyone commenting on how I look physically, but imagine now that I am in great shape, how good I will be on Saturday night. I know I am an exciting fighter – I will use lots of footwork and throw a lot of combinations – and we both hit hard…this is a great opportunity for me and I’m not leaving New Zealand without that belt."
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says he doesn’t like to put money on fights, but admitted he might have to give the advantage to Ruiz.
"I always tell people, the best way to lose money is to bet on a fight. Andy is in sensational shape for this fight," Arum said. Andy has the fastest hands in a heavyweight that I have seen since Muhammad Ali. And he really stands in there and takes the fight to his opponent. The winner of this fight will be the preeminent heavyweight."
For more on the Parker-Ruiz bout, check out A Fighting Chance: