Ruiz Jr vs Joshua 2: Deontay Wilder says Andy Ruiz Jr has champion's mindset ahead of rematch
"This is just the beginning, especially when you become a champion"
By Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 16/10/19 6:33am
Deontay Wilder believes Andy Ruiz Jr has a new-found dedication after defeating Anthony Joshua as the Mexican displayed his slimmer physique for the rematch.
Ruiz Jr appears to have already shed significant weight, with just under eight weeks until his second world heavyweight title fight against Joshua in Saudi Arabia on December 7, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
The Californian was crowned as the new unified champion after stopping Joshua at Madison Square Garden in June and WBC title holder Wilder says Ruiz Jr has adopted the same winning mentality as himself.
Asked if he is backing Ruiz Jr to win, Wilder told Sky Sports: "I am. Ruiz Jr has all the motivation and confidence that he needs from the first fight.
"I don't think he is one to dwell after obtaining a little taste of success. This is just the beginning, especially when you become a champion.
"You've got to stay hungry. My man Marvin Hagler said you can't get out of bed in silk pyjamas, but with the win, it was a big boost, and he has the Mexican people around him."
Ruiz Jr has admitted he would welcome an undisputed world title battle in the future, but Wilder must firstly overcome Luis Ortiz in a rematch on November 23, while a second fight with Tyson Fury has been pencilled in for February 22.
"Of course, I'm just missing one belt," said Ruiz Jr. "One belt to be the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world and that's the goal, but I don't want to look past Anthony Joshua."
He added: "My eyes are on the prize with him, so after I win that fight, then I can fight Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury."
Wilder has welcomed the prospect of a fight against Ruiz Jr, insisting it would be more significant than a showdown with Joshua, Britain's biggest star.
"The Ruiz Jr fight is even huger," he said. "Whoever wins is going to be a big fight.
"But the biggest fight is me and Ruiz Jr because of his Hispanic background, and he's American, so he has both sides.
"Becoming the first Mexican heavyweight champion is huge because they've never had that before. A lot of people who weren't alert on him, they are now.
"It's bigger than what Joshua could ever be."