Andy Ruiz vs Anthony Joshua: Challenger must overcome ‘mental warfare’ in rematch, says Eddie Hearn

Hearn believes Joshua has bounced back well from the shock defeat in the first meeting

Harry Latham-Coyle
Sunday 01 December 2019 13:20
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Joshua vs Ruiz 2 Press Conference

Anthony Joshua has to overcome “mental warfare” in his rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr, promoted Eddie Hearn has claimed.

Joshua was stunned by Ruiz in the pair’s first meeting, with the Mexican-American claiming a shock victory and the four heavyweight titles that will again be on the line in the pair’s rematch.

Yet Hearn is confident that after a period of reflection Joshua is ready for the fight in Saudi Arabia, and confident he can avenge the defeat.

“I spoke to him (Joshua) a couple of days ago, he’s in Saudi Arabia and very happy. He’s trained hard and is just tapering down now, probably getting his last sparring in,” Hearn told Sky Sports.

“It took him a while to get over the defeat, he had to ask himself some questions, but the way he has bounced back is admirable.

“He’s put absolutely everything into this camp and couldn’t have tried any harder.”

Joshua and Ruiz will fight in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia on December 7 in a bout dubbed the “Clash on the Dunes”.

Kubrat Pulev is expected to fight the victor for the IBF heavyweight title for which he is a mandatory challenger.

Hearn believes Joshua deserves credit for his attitude towards an immediate rematch and is exoecting an even fight.

“This isn’t a guy shirking a challenge. It’s not a guy asking for an easy warm-up fight.

“Time and time again, he has gone in at the deep end before his time, he’s doing it again. A warm-up fight is not in Anthony Joshua’s vocabulary.

“Creating a legacy has been the motivation and I believe he will win and when he does, it will be sweet. It’s tough though, it’s a 50/50 fight, he has to overcome that mental warfare of being stopped by Ruiz Jr last time out.”

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