Anthony Joshua has unknowingly drafted in a host of weightier fighters for sparring as Andy Ruiz Jr. was drastically dropped in weight.
Ruiz Jr. revealed photos of his new slimmer physique as promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed Joshua was training with ‘chubbier’ opponents.
In the five weeks since Ruiz and Joshua went face-to-face at a press conference, it looks as though Ruiz has lost at least a stone in weight.
This would put the Mexican closer to the 250 pound mark, down from the 268 pounds he scaled for their June meeting.
With still just under two months to go, Ruiz could weigh-in far lighter than Joshua if he continues this trend.
For now, Joshua is utilizing his options, with Hearn outlining the criteria the ex-world heavyweight champion was looking for pre-camp.
“A lot of early sparring now is replicating the style of Ruiz,” Hearn told Fino Boxing.
“Small, a little bit chubby, fast hands, and really good on the inside. Now we’ve replicated that, I feel like the preparation is going to be great.”
Little did both Hearn and Joshua know of Ruiz’s dramatic transformation. It remains to be seen whether AJ will make alterations to his preparations.
Both fighters have given themselves twelve weeks plus to be in the shape of their lives.
“It’s madness. There are eight weeks to go and he’s been in camp for four weeks already,” revealed Hearn.
“Last time we had probably three weeks of sparring. It was tough to find a guy like Ruiz because there aren’t many like him,” he added.
Despite his defeat last summer, Joshua remains a big favorite with the UK bookmakers.
Odds of 4/11 go against 5/2 for Ruiz. Those who see a repeat happening stand a good chance of making a hefty profit.
Joshua hit the canvas four times in the New York battle but admitted in the aftermatch he took Ruiz too lightly.
A win for the 2012 Olympic gold medalist could lead to a huge undisputed unification with Deontay Wilder in 2020.
Ruiz, on the other hand, can cement his place as a four-belt ruler should he hand out the same punishment on December 7.