Anthony Joshua is preparing for his rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr by sparring with “small and chubby” partners, according to Eddie Hearn.
Joshua is determined to win his belts back from American-born Mexican Ruiz when the duo meet again in the ring on December 7 in Saudi Arabia.
The british heavyweight was dropped four times before eventually losing in the seventh round in a shock defeat in June – with plenty speculating he had misjudged Ruiz based on his looks.
Ruiz is four inches shorter than 6ft6ins Joshua but for their first fight he weighed just over 20 pounds more – meaning he looked far from athletic next to the toned Brit in the ring.
Joshua had never fought anyone like Ruiz previously, but will not let himself be surprised according to his promoter Hearn.
“It’s madness. There’s eight weeks to go, and he’s been in camp for four weeks already,” Hearn told Fino Boxing.
“A lot of early sparring now is replicating the style of Ruiz.
“Last time we had probably three weeks of sparring, and it was tough to find a guy like Ruiz, because there aren’t many like him.
“Small, a little bit chubby, fast hands, and really good on the inside. Now we’ve replicated that, I feel like the preparation is going to be great.”
Ruiz has attempted to improve himself as well, and has warned Joshua to look out for a more “lighter, faster and more powerful” fighter this time around.
“I will arrive in better condition…. lighter, faster and more powerful,” Ruiz said. “They will believe that in December they will win.
“People will always talk like this, but I have faith that we’re going to win and shut up more mouths.
“I have a lot of respect for Anthony, outside the ring he is a very good man. But inside [the ring] there are no friends, there is no respect or anything.
“It will not be an easy fight. I think it will be a hard fight, but nothing is easy in life, so we are training very hard. We will be prepared for whatever he brings.”