Anthony Joshua sparring reports addressed as Andy Ruiz Jr. return looms

Anthony Joshua

📷 Dave Thompson

Interest in Anthony Joshua’s training camp has taken on a new life during the Saudi Arabia countdown to his career-defining clash this weekend.

WBN released a report from a source we will not name regarding Joshua being troubled in camp for a second time in the run-up to facing Andy Ruiz Jr.

Unlike our initial article for the first fight, confirming Joshua was hurt badly trading with Joey Dawejko, WBN understands this one was nowhere near as serious.

As expected, Dawejko wasn’t invited back for the rematch camp as Joshua shared the ring with some big hitters.

Team Joshua has since been forced to address the fresh rumors during pre-fight formalities.

A new concern about whether AJ did or did not find himself taking a break after being rocked sparring the likes of Albon Pervizaj, Tom Little, Derek Chisora, Andrew Tabiti or Timothy Moten has lingered over fight week.

Fascinatingly, some either refuse to believe it or don’t see it as being relevant to the camp or fight in question.

The truth is, every boxer at any time can be hurt in sparring. Fists fly. Punches land. Anthony Joshua is no different from any other.

There are no rules laid down or special treatment asked of Joshua’s sparring partners. They are free to throw leather, just like anyone else.

We all know Joshua is a warrior who likes to trade, possibly to his own detriment at times. So these reports coming out of any camp involving the Olympic gold medalist have to be taken seriously.

If WBN receives information from a valued boxing person, which is the case on many occasions, there’s a solid duty to put it out in the open.

Even without revealing the full extent of the incidents in question, several people surrounding Joshua have decided to retort to constant media quizzing.

Quotes of ‘he’s had the best camp ever’ and ‘he was never hurt’ have been thrown back, but the real truth is, nobody will ever be able to make that kind of confirmation.

Eddie Hearn, for one, wouldn’t dream of ever ratifying such reports from a closed-doors camp. It’s his job to keep an air of invincibility to the boxer in question – and rightly so.

So the fact some fail to acknowledge it’s a potential happening, coupled with taking all the released and official information as the gospel truth, is pretty eye-opening.

Joshua, like Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury or anyone else, has been in trouble when sparring heavyweight camp partners. It’s simply a known fact.

Despite his likeable persona and achievements in the ring, Joshua is not separated or elevated above anyone else in that respect.

HURT GAME

Fighters get hurt when they throw punches…that’s a reality. It’s a cold, hard certainty in this matter. And those who don’t want to take that on board are welcome to do so.

Furthermore, whether this camp has been the best or the worst of his life, Joshua still has to face his biggest and most nerve-wracking night on Saturday night.

Ruiz will be bringing more than sparring fire to the table as Joshua bids to join an elite band of two-time world heavyweight champions.

Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay


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