Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz: Brit has revamped sparring in bid to win rematch, reveals Eddie Hearn

Joshua struggled to find appropriate sparring partners in the build-up to the first fight between the pair

Harry Latham-Coyle
Friday 11 October 2019 13:52 BST
Eddie Hearn says Anthony Joshua rematch location could change boxing forever

Anthony Joshua has revamped his sparring with better partners in a bid to win his rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr.

Promoter Eddie Hearn has revealed that Joshua struggled to find partners with styles similar to that of Ruiz Jr ahead of their first fight.

Ruiz Jr replaced Jarrell Miller as Joshua’s opponent relatively soon before that fight in June, and Hearn has suggested that finding appropriate fighters to spar with has been a point of emphasis ahead of December 7’s rematch.

“We’ve got that under control,” Hearn told Sky Sports.

“Sparring is something we’ve been working at. First time around we only had four weeks, and three weeks of sparring. We found guys but probably not the guys we really wanted.

“Now the sparring is top class. He is focused and looking great. Eight weeks to go.

“We’re not interested in looking at Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder or anything else. It’s just about winning one of the biggest heavyweight events of all time.”

Joshua has previously denied rumours he was knocked down while sparring in the build up to the first Ruiz Jr fight.

The Mexican-American is a unique fighter, and the relatively short time between the announcement of Miller’s replacement and the fight left the Joshua camp struggling to find sparring partners who could replicate Ruiz Jr’s style.

“It’s so difficult to replicate the style of Andy Ruiz. The guy is 6’1”, he’s 19st, and he’s got speed like a middleweight,” Hearn explained previously.

“It’s one thing getting a sparring partner in, it’s getting them to let their hands go against Anthony Joshua. Would you want to do it? You’ve got to be mad to even spar with him, let alone fight him.

“[Last time] we tried to get the sparring in, we struggled a little bit, no excuses, but this time around the preparation has got to be spot on.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in