Andy Ruiz Jnr says hometown advantage is a significant factor to overcome in his world title fight against Joseph Park in Auckland next month.
But Ruiz will be fired by something special - his long-held ambition to become the first Mexican heavyweight champion.
Speaking exclusively on Radio Sport Breakfast, the American-Mexican fighter said from Las Vegas that hometown advantage was always a factor in boxing. Auckland was a hurdle, but Ruiz had the mission to create history on his side.
Mexico has had great fighters, including America-Mexico citizen Oscar de la Hoya and six-time world champion Julio Cesar Chavez. But never a heavyweight champ. Ruiz has talked about his chance to make history for the last three years and re-iterated that on Radio Sport.
"Yeah, it is where ever the fight takes place," when asked if hometown advantage could sway a result.
"But I'm willing to train hard and die in the ring...to make history as the first Mexican champion there has ever been."
Ruiz, whose weight has been a problem during his career, said he was training to get in a condition that would enable him to "put up punches until the 10th round."
"I am training hard for the biggest fight of my career - I'm going to be aggressive and throw combinations," he said.
"There are going to be a lot of fireworks. I'm going to do whatever it takes to get that belt."
Ruiz is planning to arrive in Auckland two weeks before the December 10 showdown at Vector Arena.