EXCLUSIVE: Sparring partner Malik Scott makes Ruiz vs Joshua 2, Wilder vs Usyk predictions
Malik Scott has inside knowledge of several high-profile heavyweights after becoming a regular in training camp for the likes of Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk.
Most recently, Scott helped Usyk prepare for his top division debut. Usyk then defeated Chazz Witherspoon with ease.
Subsequently, Usyk is now mandatory challenger with the WBO and recently entered the WBC rating at number five.
After sharing many rounds with Usyk, Scott is in prime position to air his views on the Olympic gold medalist’s chances of becoming a two-weight world champion.
Usyk has already become undisputed at cruiserweight.
“I thought he looked as good as the opposition that was in front of him,” Scott exclusively told World Boxing News when asked for his thoughts of the performance.
“Chazz is a good fighter, but he wasn’t in top shape. Because of this, he didn’t cause Usyk any kind of real trouble.”
On Usyk’s title aspirations, the American added: “I believe Usyk can be heavyweight champion easily. It all depends on what champion he fights for the title.
“I believe he’s ready now, but in my opinion, Deontay Wilder is the best heavyweight in the world at the moment.
“If that fight happens (between Usyk and Wilder for the WBC title) I’d have to pick Deontay.
RUIZ vs JOSHUA 2
Turning attention to the unified clash between Andy Ruiz and Anthony Joshua on December 7, WBN asked Scott for his prediction.
Ruiz shocked Joshua on June 1st, knocking down the Briton four times en route to a seventh round stoppage in New York.
The pair face off in a contracted rematch in Saudi Arabia just under six weeks from now.
“I believe Andy Ruiz has a great chance at beating him again,” said Scott. “It’s one of those fights whichever way it goes I won’t be surprised.”
Quizzed on the apparent weight loss by Ruiz after tipping the scales at 268 pounds for the initial bout, Scott concluded: “I’m not sure about what effect it will have.
“I think he’s just stepping up the pace concerning his training. He’s probably feeling very motivated to make changes after becoming world champion.
“He’s got the belts now so things are different. And he knows he can beat Joshua.
“I believe Ruiz is possibly one of those fighters that once they become champ they get better. I believe Ruiz may be cut from that cloth.”
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News and an Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay