THE world was shocked when Andy Ruiz toppled Anthony Joshua to win the WBO, WBA and IBF world heavyweight titles. But no one was more surprised than Joe Joyce. The British heavyweight was a long time sparring partner for Joshua when Joyce was on the GB squad. He’d seen Ruiz in the gym too and didn’t expect the diminutive Mexican to seize the championship belts.
“Not in a million years. I saw Andy Ruiz in Big Bear and he was sparring with Charles Martin. But he was struggling to do two to four rounds and he didn’t want to spar me. I was just thinking it would be a walkover job for Joshua. Little did I know,” Joyce told Boxing News.
“I did a load more rounds with Martin,” he continued. “I think [Ruiz] was struggling with fitness, struggled with altitude and he wasn’t willing to spar me.”