Parker, Ruiz Prepared for 12-Round War

On Dec. 10, New Zealand’s Joseph Parker will take on Andy Ruiz for the WBO heavyweight title in Auckland. While the stakes are high, the two are surprisingly cordial ahead of the bout, appearing together in their first joint interview before they step into the ring on Saturday.

Parker (21-0) and Ruiz (29-0) appeared on New Zealand television program Seven Sharp to promote the fight, sitting side by side and reminiscing over their prior sparring session. That exchange took place when Parker was still green in the sport of boxing and, according to Parker, left him unable to eat for three days.

The Australian says he is a different boxer than the one that sparred Ruiz, and his Mexican-American opponent knows that as well.

While both heavyweights are known for their power, Parker does not offer a prediction as to a round where the knockout will come.

"We are both prepared for 12 rounds. I can’t call it because we are both fighters with speed and power. He is a good mover, I am a good mover so you can’t put a round on it. You just have to wait and see what happens," Parker said.

The two were friendly with one another in their joint interview, but they are each prepared to flip their aggression on like a switch come fight night. Ruiz in particular uses his family as motivational fuel when he steps into the ring.

"I think when the bell rings you have to put that switch on and that is when it is go time," Ruiz said. "In my eyes, I feel he is going to take food away from my children and that is what gives me the extra motivation. That is when the switch comes on and I have got to be in beast mode."

For Parker, the Kiwi boxer finds his motivation from his surroundings. On the brink of realizing his world-title dream in front of a supportive Auckland crowd, he is prepared to represent his country with a praiseworthy performance. 

"This is my hometown and I am ready for this. I have to go out there and protect myself, my country and my family so I have extra motivation."

Parker and Ruiz fight for the vacant HBO heavyweight title on Saturday, Dec. 10 in Auckland, New Zealand.

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