IF anybody knows the perks of being a little on the heavy side it’s Andy Ruiz Jnr, the current WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion of the world.
The portly but powerful Mexican-American combines the physique of a heavyweight with the speed of a middleweight and used both to shock the world in June, when stopping Anthony Joshua inside seven rounds at Madison Square Garden, New York.
Now, as he prepares to grant Joshua a rematch, Ruiz is questioning whether Joshua’s slimmed down appearance will be a help or a hindrance on the night.
“I saw videos where he looked slimmer. I don’t know if that’s an advantage or a disadvantage,” he told Sky Sports. “I don’t know if he will take the punches as well as he did when he weighed more.”
Back in June, Ruiz Jr weighed-in at 19st 2lbs and Joshua was a stone-and-a-half lighter at 17st 9lbs. This time, however, both appear considerably lighter than they were for the first fight.
“Me? People are saying I lost too much weight, (that I) I won’t be strong, (and) he will move me around. I am losing eight pounds from what I weighed on June 1. I’ll still be the same, I’ll still be strong.
“AJ has always been in shape. He has always looked really good, really cut up.”
Joshua, meanwhile, had this to say to Sky Sports: “It’s interesting that the weight is spoken about a lot.
“You don’t make weight as a heavyweight. You focus on training, feel good at whatever weight, then work around that. I have focused on my boxing aspect. Provided I’m feeling good, the weight will be whatever it is.
“I don’t have a target which means I’m ready. I’ve got to perform in a certain way in the gym then when the boxes have been ticked, the weight will be whatever the weight will be.”
Two things that tend not to change regardless of an increase or drop in weight are a heavyweight’s punch power and punch resistance. You either have it, or you don’t, and on December 7 in Saudi Arabia, slimline versions of Andy Ruiz Jnr and Anthony Joshua will be asked once again to prove they possess both.
Whoever then proves it, will also likely possess three of the four world heavyweight titles.
IT is by now a rule of thumb: If Deontay Wilder hits a heavyweight clean on the chin, they will at the very least find their back and backside touching the canvas.
Most will then be unable to continue, so disorientated will they feel, whereas the fortunate few might – might – be able to scramble back to their feet and return for more.
One man who did manage to get up from a Wilder knockdown, not once but twice, is Tyson Fury, who lasted the distance with ‘The Bronze Bomber’ in December. Some would argue Fury was never caught clean on the chin – not clean like Luis Ortiz and Dominic Breazeale, that is – but Fury’s supporters would counter this by saying his defence and footwork prevented Wilder from getting the opportunity to do so.
German Caicedo, meanwhile, the coach of Luis Ortiz, Wilder’s latest victim, falls more in line with the former point of view.
“He knocks Fury out [in the rematch],” Caicedo told FightHub. “He’s only getting more confident. This is a boulder. One of those big snow boulders that’s growing and growing, rolling downhill, that’s going to destroy the little town at the bottom. And anyone at the bottom is going to get bulldozed. Everyone’s at the bottom. He’s [Wilder] at the top.”
As for Anthony Joshua, the coach of Luis Ortiz has even less faith in him being able to take what Wilder will be chucking his way. The theory is that Joshua, unlike Fury and Ortiz, lacks the smarts and physical capability to stay away.
“So if Joshua fights him, Joshua is going to get knocked out in one round — not six, not eight, not ten. One round,” said Caicedo. “It’s going to be one round just like Breazeale.
“Fury might last a few more rounds because obviously he’s shake n’ bake, but he’s [still] going to get knocked out.”
He won’t be the only one thinking this. In fact, predicting Deontay Wilder to knock out another heavyweight is perhaps the safest bet in boxing right now.