Anthony Joshua has been warned there is ‘no room for error’ in his eagerly anticipated rematch with Andy Ruiz, which could well define his entire boxing career.
Great Britain Boxing performance director Rob McCracken has been reflecting on Joshua’s ability in the ring against small, mobile opponents of Ruiz’s build.
Joshua’s defeat to Ruiz back in June, in New York’s Madison Square Garden, was the first time the British star had to chalk the number one next to his list of professional losses.
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Now, ahead of facing Ruiz in the ring once more – this time in Saudi Arabia – Joshua has switched up his training regime in order to right the wrongs of the previous meeting.
‘He’s beaten numerous small, mobile heavyweights and he’s lost to a couple of them,’ McCracken said during a recent interview with the Guardian.
McCracken, now 51, has spent nine years training Joshua and knows the Watford-born star’s capabilities and mental capacity.
Ruiz has vowed to beat Joshua once again, and questioned the slimmer build of his rival
‘Sometimes fighters are just good. Ruiz has good technical ability. He can measure the distance. Knows how to defend. Got a half-decent jab, good timing and speed.
‘Ruiz is an underrated world-class fighter but if you’ve got the height and reach, like Josh, you must use it.
‘The minute you don’t, you’re open to quick powerful hooks off these heavyweights. And Ruiz is one of the best,’
‘He’s motivated. He’s been in the best mood in camp for a while. He’s laughing and joking. He also knows that if he does everything right, he’ll win but there’s no room for error,’ McCracken added.
Upon his arrival in the Middle East this week, Ruiz insisted he was ready to continue from last time and beat Joshua once again.
‘I saw videos where he looked slimmer. I don’t know if that’s an advantage or a disadvantage, ‘ Ruiz told Sky Sports.
‘I don’t know if he will take the punches as well as he did when he weighed more.’
Tickets have been sold to fans across more than 60 countries with the biggest demand from those in the United Kingdom, keen to see Joshua make a winning return to the ring.
Joshua is fighting in a bid to reclaim the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO belts and set up a unification fight in 2020 with WBC champion Deontay Wilder.