Top Rank boss Bob Arum celebrated his 89th birthday this and didn’t hold back with his thoughts on Anthony Joshua’s victory over Andy Ruiz Jr. last year.
Arum was talking up his fighter’s chances, Kubrat Pulev, causing an upset in London this week.
The Hall of Famer pointed out that Joshua got pummeled by Ruiz in June 2019 before turning the result around in a highly different fashion.
‘AJ’ danced around a massively overweight Ruiz in Saudi Arabia before later learning that Mexico’s first-ever heavyweight champion hadn’t even trained properly for the clash.
In essence, Ruiz gave up the belts to Joshua with a whimper. The result didn’t stop Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn from declaring the victory a history-making effort, to Arum’s bewilderment.
“It’s one thing to box and run around the ring, making out you’re second coming of Muhammad Ali when you’re fighting a fat, obese Andy Ruiz – but it’s going to be a different story when you’re fighting a fit and ready Pulev, who’s in great shape and a good boxer,” Arum told Marc Gatford via the Betway Insider blog.
“I believe Kubrat will be able to match Joshua with boxing ability. He will have an opportunity to catch Joshua and knock him out.
“Pulev is very strong and has a good pedigree. So Joshua won’t be able to run and do what he did to Ruiz in the rematch.”
Taking Joshua’s obvious frailties in the top division into account, Arum made a confident prediction for Saturday night.
“Pulev has the ability to corner Joshua and to take him out. So I believe not only is Pulev going to win the fight but he’s going to win it by knockout.”
ANDY RUIZ JR at TOP RANK
On Ruiz, who was promoted by Top Rank for every one of his bouts barring the Joshua saga, Arum concluded: “We promoted Ruiz 30 times and most of the time he had trouble impacting opponents with his power, so the fact he devastated Joshua so badly indicates to me Joshua has a big weakness, and that is his inability to take a punch.
“I’m not a fool. I’m talking about what I’ve seen: I saw Anthony Joshua got knocked on his ass and thoroughly beaten not so long ago.”
The original interview came via the Betway Insider blog, where you can find all the latest sporting insight and tips.