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Hearn expects Joshua to be more elusive & agile against Ruiz

Anthony Joshua

By Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn is counting on Anthony Joshua showing a lot more agility and athleticism in his rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr. on December 7th. Joshua looked painfully robotic, slow and inept in his fight against Ruiz (33-1, 22 KOs) last June, and he paid the price big time in getting stopped in the 7th round.

Matchroom Boxing promoter Hearn wants Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) to get revenge in the rematch on December 7th on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the U.S.

Joshua must be agile, athletic and loose against Ruiz says Hearn

Eddie is crying out for AJ to change his entire boxing DNA for the rematch with Ruiz by becoming something he’s not, and that’s just not possible. Fighters can make small changes to their game if they train hard, and remember to stay dialed into the new fight strategy. But when it requires a boxer to be more agile and athletic than they previously were, it’s not realistic to assume that they can do that, especially if they’re built like a bodybuilder.

Hearn needs to accept that Joshua was built for short duration fights, and not ones where he’s expected to get a second wind. He can’t do that unless his opponents back off the way Wladimir Klitschko did.

Sky posted a GIF of Joshua training with Rob McCracken, and AJ is showing a little more head and foot movement. However, Joshua still looks stiff and too muscular for his own good.

Hearn: Joshua has got to have that movement 

“I think movement and looseness in this fight is quite important for him,” said Hearn to Sky Sports about Joshua needing to be more mobile in Ruiz rematch. “He’s got to have that movement with him as well. I think with AJ, it’s never about the weight, it’s more about how he feels, how he’s training, what he’s doing. Obviously against Ruiz, someone that’s faster, it’s probably better to be a little bit lighter and more fluid,” said Hearn.

Everything depends on Joshua being the agile and athletic fighter that Hearn wants/needs him to be. If Joshua gets blasted into oblivion by Ruiz in the rematch, then it could be the end of the gravy train for Hearn. On Wednesday, Hearn twice mentioned the possibility of Joshua retiring after the December 7th rematch with Ruiz. Obviously, Hearn wouldn’t be saying that unless Joshua planted a bug in his ear.

Hearn talking retirement for Joshua after Ruiz fight

Hearn wouldn’t come up with this retirement bit unless Joshua told him in plain English that he’s thinking about hanging up his gloves after the Ruiz fight. As such, Hearn is now on his soap box, barking instructions to Joshua like a cheerleader, hoping to encourage him to be what he wasn’t designed to be.

What Hearn should be doing is being proactive to help Joshua win the rematch by letting him know that he needs a new trainer or least a second coach that fix the mistakes that McCracken makes. Hearn doesn’t have a background in coaching, so him talking about Joshua looking more agile is meaningless. Unless a coach is saying Joshua is more agile, you have to assume he’s the same stiff, robotic fighter he’s always been.

“Against Jarrell Miller, it was more about size, because he was going to get walked down,” said Hearn to skysports.com. “He wanted to be big, strong, solid. Obviously against Ruiz, someone that’s faster, it’s probably better to be a little bit lighter and more fluid.”

It sounds a lot like Hearn is still making excuses for Joshua’ loss to Ruiz. Hearn needs to forget about being in the damage control mode, and focus more on what Joshua is going to do in order to keep from getting knocked out again. It’s too late for Hearn to continue to make excuses or why Joshua lost to Ruiz. Instead, Hearn should trying to get some good coaches that can help AJ win this time.


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