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Tuesday, 3 December, 2002, 23:20 GMT
Ruiz plots risky defence
Roy Jones jnr is 50 pounds lighter than Ruiz
Jones admits he risk being hurt by Ruiz
WBA heavyweight champion John Ruiz says he is taking a major gamble by fighting Roy Jones Jnr next year.

Jones is viewed as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world at the moment.

But the former Olympic silver medallist has done most of his boxing in the super-middleweight and light-heavyweight divisions.

And Ruiz, who won the title by beating Evander Holyfield, insists he is in a no-win situation as he prepares for the 1 March bout.

He's quick, but I don't think he's so quick that I can't catch him

John Ruiz on
Roy Jones jnr

"I'm taking a big chance here," said Ruiz. "I have everything to lose and he has everything to gain.

"If I beat him, people will say that I should have because I'm bigger and stronger.

"If I lose, people will say I'm nothing because I lost to a light-heavyweight. I've got to the point where I'll always get criticised."

Ruiz plans to come into the fight at 225 pounds while Jones is currently 50lbs lighter than his opponent.

"He is quick, but I don't think he is so quick that I can't catch him," said Ruiz.

"He has to worry that his flurries are not going to mean anything against a heavyweight like me.

John Ruiz (left) grapples with Evander Holyfield
Ruiz (left) won the title by beating Holyfield
"My main thing is to cut off the ring and work the body. You work the body and the head will fall."

Jones says he could end up getting hurt by Ruiz as he seeks to bridge the gap in weight.

"Giving up 50 pounds to a man who put Holyfield down clean is saying a lot," he said.

"I'm not taking the challenge because he's somebody I think is easy to beat.

"I'm taking the challenge because I see somebody that will fight."

Promoter Don King plans to match the victor against the winner of the fight between Evander Holyfield and Chris Byrd, who meet for the vacant IBF title on 14 December.

In King's grand scheme, the winner of the two fights would take on Lennox Lewis in a unification bout.


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