The long awaited rematch between WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO Heavyweight champion Andy “Destroyer” Diaz, Jr., and former champion Anthony “AJ” Joshua has finally arrived Saturday. Back in June Diaz came off the canvas to stop Joshua and take his titles stopping him in Madison Square Garden.
Diaz, 31-1 (22), of Imperial, CA, defends his titles over DAZN (the Zone) against Joshua, 22-1 (21), out of Watford Hertfordshire, UK. It was the fourth defense for Joshua. Rumors were he was dropped in training for the fight.
On the importance of keeping the belts: It’s been a long 3 months of camp. I’ve been training real hard for this fight. Like, June 1st I made history, and I think the importance is to re-make history on December 7th in Saudi Arabia. Not much to say but I’m ready to rock n’ roll. I know AJ is going to come in with a different game plan. I know he’s prepared, motivated, being more cautious – I know he’s going to try to box me around. My job is to prepare for whatever comes my way.
On if the motivation is still there: Of course, I don’t want these beautiful belts to go away. Remember I’ve been doing this since I was 6, and it’s finally paying off, and no way I’m going to let these belts go. I’m going to die trying, and do anything that’s possible to get the victory. It’s been a long journey, long roller coaster in my life, and no way I’m going to let these go on December 7th. Let the best man win.
On this being a great opportunity: It’s interesting being on this side of the table, as you said in my 16th fight, I challenged for the world title, challenged again with Klitschko, then Parker and I’m challenging again, so this is my fourth title challenge in a short space of time. I’m used to being in this position, and even when you’re champion, I think that Andy being a respected heavyweight he knows you have to have the challenge and mindset. All these quotes that these fighters come up with is reality, challenger mindset. I’ve said previously when I had the belts around my waist. So, I’m going back to my 16th fight, focused and determined on my goal.
On the undercard will be:
Former WBA Heavyweight champion Alexander “Russian Vityaz, Povetkin, 35-2 (24), out of Chekhov, Russia, takes on Michael “The Bounty” Hunter, 18-1 (12), out of Las Vegas, NV, over 10 rounds.
Heavyweight Filip Hrgovic, 9-0 (7), out of Zagreb, Croatia, takes on Eric “Drummer Boy” Molina, 27-5 (19), of Weslaco, TX, for the WBC International title.
Heavyweight Dillian “The Body Snatcher” Whyte, 26-1 (18), out of London, UK, takes on Mariusz “The Viking” Wach, 35-5 (19, out of Krakow, Poland.
Three preliminary fights will open the show.