Whyte vs Ruiz Jr: Oscar Rivas on his victory over Andy Ruiz Jr - and what Anthony Joshua must do differently
"You need to move a lot, do not stand as a static target in front of Ruiz Jr."
By James Dielhenn & Johnnie Ellis-Petersen
Last Updated: 12/07/19 12:44pm
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.
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.
What are your memories of defeating Andy Ruiz Jr?
Rivas: I really had a tough fight against him. It's a fight I won thanks to my speed and my experience as an amateur, but also you could say that fighting him was my ticket to the Olympics, and a chance to fight the best heavy weights in the world.
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.
Was the Olympics a valuable experience?
Rivas: What I would say about the Olympic Games is that, it was also the pinnacle of my career, but leading to this, I am very proud of what I've done during my career as an amateur.
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.
Do you hope to meet Ruiz Jr again with the world heavyweight title on the line?
Rivas: Eleven years after our amateur fight, I'd like to face Andy Ruiz in a professional ring. A professional fight changes everything because an amateur fight is just three rounds, while a professional one is 12 rounds. You can never tell what's going to happen when you get into the ring with someone. It's best just to get in the ring and give it your best shot.
Dillian Whyte battles Oscar Rivas on July 20, live on Sky Sports Box Office, with David Allen against David Price and Derek Chisora versus Artur Szpilka on The O2 bill.