Oscar Rivas turned southpaw to defeat Andy Ruiz Jr in an amateur fight – over a decade later that result now looks like a warning sign.
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Rivas, the contender who will fight Dillian Whyte on July 20 live on Sky Sports Box Office, won on points in an Olympic qualifier against Ruiz Jr, who now holds three world heavyweight titles after shocking Anthony Joshua.
Why Rivas fought Ruiz Jr
Colombia’s Rivas originally lost to the United States’ Michael Hunter in a qualifier for the 2008 Olympics. But he then beat Mexico’s Ruiz Jr 16:4 to progress to the Games in Beijing. Rivas beat Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev at the Olympics but lost to the eventual champion, Roberto Cammarelle of Italy.
It was not an easy fight because Ruiz is taller than me. He has really fast hands. He is difficult to box.
But I am really proud to have beaten him fair and square. I’m most proud because I fought southpaw.
I saw that Ruiz was knocking everybody out so, as a strategy, I decided to go southpaw for this fight.
What is the key to beating Ruiz Jr?
Rivas: You need to keep your distance because he throws lots of punches. You need to move a lot, do not stand as a static target in front of him.
Where did Joshua go wrong when he lost to Ruiz Jr?
Rivas: Joshua was a bit overconfident during his fight with Ruiz. You could say that Andy did a good job while everyone thought that he wasn’t capable of winning against Joshua but in the end, it was there for everyone to see.
What I can say about Anthony Joshua is that he’s a good boxer. I’ve seen all boxing styles and I’d say that he’s still the man.