Andy Ruiz Jr greets Anthony Joshua’s mother with friendly handshake as heavyweight duo enjoy pre-fight gala dinner ahead of Saudi Arabia rematch

Andy Ruiz Jr may have four world title belts, but he’s still playing the role of humble challenger ahead of his heavyweight rematch with Anthony Joshua

He lured Joshua into a false sense of security in New York back in June and the California-born fighter has been equally understated in Riyadh this week. 

Spirits were high at the pre-fight gala dinner on Thursday evening and Ruiz was spotted giving his opponent’s mother a friendly handshake.

The pair smiled as they exchanged pleasantries after the meal at the Al Faisaliah Hotel.

Joshua was also pictured kissing his mother Yeta Odusanya on the forehead and was seated next to her throughout the evening. 

Undercard fighters Dillian Whyte and Tom Little were in attendance while promoter Eddie Hearn gave a speech to a captivated audience.

The 30-year-old heavyweight poses for the cameras ahead of the rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr

Joshua is likely to weigh-in under 17st for the first time in four years when he steps on the scales on Friday, and the 30-year-old has revealed his tactics ahead of the biggest night of his career.

‘For me, take centre. If I’m six inches in front of Ruiz, all takes for a man to miss a punch is six inches,’ he told reporters. ‘So sometimes you haven’t even got to be running around the ring.

‘I asked him upstairs, I said: “How do I beat you, then?” He says: “Maybe, you should move around a little.”

Promoter Eddie Herarn addresses the guests at the Al Faisaliah Hotel in Riyadh

‘Boxing is a sweet science of the sport. I’m 6ft 6in, so it would be wrong of me to sit in front of Ruiz and go toe-to-toe hooking.

‘I’ve got to box to my attributes which is range and movement. My style is not what a scared boxer would do, I think it’s what a smart fighter would do.’

The fighters are expected to ring walk on Saturday at approximately 8:45pm with the first bell scheduled for 9pm.

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Credit: Dailymail

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