Anthony Joshua is ‘quicker and still punching damn hard’, reveals David Haye

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Anthony Joshua is lighter, faster, keener and still a huge puncher as he approaches the rematch of his sensational world heavyweight title upset by Andy Ruiz Jr.

That is the verdict of fellow British heavyweight Dereck Chisora after a sparring session with Joshua at his Sheffield training camp this Tuesday night.

The message of hope to UK fight fans was relayed by Chisora’s manager, former world heavyweight champion David Haye.

Dereck Chisora (left) had a sparring session with Anthony Joshua in Sheffield on Tuesday

Dereck Chisora (left) had a sparring session with Anthony Joshua in Sheffield on Tuesday

Dereck Chisora (left) had a sparring session with Anthony Joshua in Sheffield on Tuesday

Joshua goes to Saudi Arabia on December 7 in an attempt to retrieve his collection of alphabelts from Ruiz, who became Mexico’s first world heavyweight champion when he knocked out AJ in New York.

Haye reports: ‘Dereck is impressed with Joshua. He found him not just in great shape but having trimmed down to the lean muscle, which is what he needed to do if he is to keep out of danger by boxing Ruiz at long range.

‘And although he’s taken off the over-muscle, he’s still punching damn hard as well as being quicker on his feet.’

These improvements are seen as crucial to Joshua’s chances of avenging that shock defeat by Ruiz, who has also slimmed down from the rotund figure he cut in the first fight.

Just as importantly, given all the distractions of his business commitments, Joshua’s mind is said to be back on the job.

Haye says: ‘Apparently AJ is fully focussed and right back into his boxing.’

David Haye has revealed that Joshua is lighter on his feet ahead of rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr

David Haye has revealed that Joshua is lighter on his feet ahead of rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr

David Haye has revealed that Joshua is lighter on his feet ahead of rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr 

Haye was speaking as we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the night in Germany when he sprang a giant shock of his own as he became world heavyweight champion by defeating the 7ft 2in Nikola Valuev.

Now he is planning for Chisora to startle boxing. He says: ‘The sparring with AJ went well for Dereck also. We’re all hoping Joshua does it in Riyadh but whoever wins will want a unification fight against WBC champ Deontay Wilder.

‘So it looks as if either he or Ruiz will have so many mandatory defences ordered that he will have to vacate the WBO title.

‘With Dereck coming off two big KO wins (most recently over David Price) I am asking the WBO to put him in against their No 1 contender Oleksandr Usyk (former undisputed cruiserweight champion) for their belt next early next year.

‘They know we will pack out the O2.’

Haye wants Chisora to face Oleksandr Usyk next after his knockout win against David Price

Haye wants Chisora to face Oleksandr Usyk next after his knockout win against David Price

Haye wants Chisora to face Oleksandr Usyk next after his knockout win against David Price

 

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