Ruiz v Joshua II: Andy's weight doesn't matter, AJ is the key - Hearn

By Sports Desk December 06, 2019

Eddie Hearn is backing Anthony Joshua to knock out Andy Ruiz Jr and is not concerned by the champion's increased weight for Saturday's heavyweight title fight.

Joshua is aiming to reclaim the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles in Saudi Arabia when he goes up against the fighter who handed him his first defeat as a pro back in June.

The Briton weighed in more than three stone lighter than Ruiz, who is 15 pounds heavier than in the first fight at 20st 3lbs.

Hearn did not believe Ruiz had intentionally gained weight, telling Boxing Social: "He probably ate too much on his break [after the first fight], honestly. It definitely wouldn't be a tactic."

But Joshua's promoter does not believe the change will have any major impact on the bout, where he claims his fighter is "the key" man.

"[Joshua] has probably been lighter in his camp, to be honest with you - more resting up and eating a little bit more," Hearn said. "He's built for speed, built for power, for punching faster and sharper than ever before.

"With Andy Ruiz, I don't think it really matters. What is he, 10 pounds heavier, 11 pounds heavier, a stone, yeah?

"Last fight, [Ruiz] had done a full camp and he got straight back to the gym and then he had five or six weeks. This time, he had three months off, so he's probably playing catch-up the whole time.

"Honestly, I don't think it matters in the fight in the slightest for Andy. AJ is the key to this fight.

"If he does what he should do, if he does what he can do, I believe he wins this fight by knockout."

Backing Joshua, Hearn added: "Of course, you've got to use your attributes. He ain't going to box off the back foot and run around the ring.

"I think he's got to be more aggressive, if anything. Last time, he was too passive, with his hands down, going backwards. He's got to use his size and dominate him with the jab, make Ruiz go backwards.

"He's got to bust him up. I believe he's going to knock him out, I really do."

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