Big Bear trainer Abel Sanchez has aired his views on the impending returns between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, plus Andy Ruiz and Anthony Joshua.
The respected coach, who oversaw Gennadiy Golokvin’s rise from obscurity to middleweight domination, is backing the Brits to overcame their American-based counterparts.
Sanchez sees Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua coming out on top, provided both are switched on in the second installments.
“As expected and despite a long lay-off, Tyson Fury is a very good fighter and he showed this against Deontay Wilder in the first fight,” Sanchez exclusively told World Boxing News.
“He’s a fresh look for a division that had been lost to the fans recently.
“Right now, Fury is definitely the number one at heavyweight, and in my opinion, he won the first Wilder fight. It’s also my belief Fury will win the rematch.”
On Joshua’s attempts to reverse a shock loss to Ruiz, Sanchez added: “I think Joshua had an off night. Maybe he underestimated the look of Ruiz.
“Joshua will have to go back to basics. But make no mistake, Andy Ruiz is for real.
“If Joshua is focused on training and not being the superstar he is in the UK, he should win the rematch.”
In Murat Gassiev, Sanchez has his own addition to the heavyweight ranks ready to go.
The Russian moved up from unifying world titles at cruiserweight and now faces former AJ sparring partner Joey Dawejko.
A win could put Gassiev on the fast track to a shot at a 200 pound champion.
As things stand, the winner of Ruiz v Joshua II has to defend the straps against Oleksandr Usyk. Given their history, Gassiev could then be the first defense should Usyk prevail.
The pair fought out the World Boxing Super Series Final in 2018. Sanchez is adamant Gassiev could overturn the result at the higher weight class.
“It’s a fight that as a team we want to avenge,” pointed out Sanchez. “We know that not being 100% made it difficult, but we would love that fight in the future, especially if it is for a heavyweight title.
“The difference in size in divisions will be more difficult for Usyk. The lack of heavyweight punching power (which Gassiev has) will hurt him.
“We look forward to a rematch and are hopeful it can be an easy fight to make,” he concluded.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay