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Timothy Bradley worried about Andy Ruiz’s weight loss for Anthony Joshua rematch

Anthony Joshua Timothy Bradley

By Charles Brun: Timothy Bradley says he’s got some deep-seated worries about the sudden weight loss that IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. (33-1, 22 KOs) has undergone in getting ready for his rematch against superstar Anthony Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) on December 7. Former two division world champion Bradley thinks it’s a bad idea for Ruiz to be dropping a lot of weight in training for his rematch with Joshua in Saudi Arabia.

Ruiz seems to be focusing more on changing his appearance out of vanity reasons rather than to improve his performance in his rematch with AJ. Bradley and many other boxing fans believe that Ruiz is making a major mistake in changing his physique ahead of such an important fight as his rematch with Joshua.

Ruiz Jr. just needs to be his normal self to beat Joshua

As far as Bradley is concerned, Ruiz Jr. just needs to be himself, and come into the weight “hungry” and looking to win like he did in his first fight with Joshua last summer on June 1. Ruiz weighed 268 pounds for that fight, and looked flabby, but very, very fast and powerful. It’s probably already too late for Ruiz to just be his normal chunky self.

In looking at recent photos of the 6’2″ Ruiz, he appears to be 20+ pounds lighter than he was in his previous fight with Joshua, and he still has two months to go. There’s a very good chance that Ruiz could drop down to the 230s for the rematch with Joshua. He’ll definitely have more hand speed, but his power may not be enough to hurt Joshua, who will likely be in the mid-240s.

All that weight that Ruiz had gave him a lot of power. Bradley thinks that Ruiz will gain some hand speed in losing weight, but the expense of his punching power. The power is something that Ruiz can’t afford to lose, according to Bradley.

Bradley: Ruiz’s weight loss will hurt him for Joshua rematch

“I don’t like the fact that Ruiz is changing his whole look and whole physique,” said Bradley to Fighthype about Ruiz’s dramatic weight loss in preparing for his December 7 rematch against Joshua. “I think that’s going to hurt him. But I think he might speed up with the hand speed. It might speed up, but I’m worried about the power.

“I don’t know if he’s going to have the weight behind his punches anymore, and that’s what he’s going to need honestly. That’s what he’s going to need to stop Joshua. He’s going to need that punching power, and his speed behind it. I told him the last time I saw him, ‘Be yourself, man. Who cares about all this stuff whatever. Be you. Do what got you there.’ He just needs to be hungry. That’s it, and be a dog. Be able to take the punches from Joshua, and dish it back,’ said Bradley.

Bradley could be wrong about Ruiz’s weight loss hurting him for the rematch. As we’ve seen with Joshua’s fights against shorter heavyweights that threw combinations, he struggles and tires quickly Dillian Whyte and Carlos Takam both gave Joshua problems when they pressed the attack on him. Unfortunately for them, they couldn’t press the attack hard enough due to stamina issues.

Joshua overlooked Ruiz last time says Bradley

“He’s got to knock him out,” said Bradley when asked what Joshua has to do to beat Ruiz. “It was a mental thing, and it was a fact that he got caught right on the button. It was a fact that he didn’t train like he normally trains for big fights. He possibly took Ruiz lightly in looking at his physique like, ‘Ah, he’s nothing.’

“Giving him his belts at the weigh-in. Like, ‘Here hold my belts,’ at the press conference. I’m like yo, this dude is being a little bit too nice. He’s like trying to be the brother-in-law Ruiz a little bit. I just thought that was odd. I thought all those gestures were odd,” said Bradley.

It’s interesting that Bradley isn’t giving Ruiz credit for beating Joshua. By saying that Ruiz’s victory was due to Joshua overlooking him, Bradley is suggesting that his victory was a fluke thing. If Bradley truly feels that way, then it probably won’t matter what Ruiz weighs for the fight. Assuming the only reason Ruiz won the fight is because Joshua overlooked him, then it doesn’t matter what weight he comes into the fight.

Andy’s weight might not make a difference

Ruiz’s victory wasn’t because Joshua overlooked him. He beat AJ with his hand speed, combination punching and his ability to take his power shots. Ruiz wore Joshua out by making him fight at a fast pace that his bodybuilder physique couldn’t support. Bradley should know that, but it looks like he’s bought into Ruiz’s victory being a fluke.

It does make sense for Ruiz to lose some weight for the fight, because Joshua is expected to use a lot of movement in the rematch. If Ruiz is in the 240s, he’ll be able to cut off the ring better, and handle a fight that will require more cardio. Joshua was too stiff and hulk-like for the previous fight, and he failed to use his head movement.

You can bet that AJ’s trainer Robert McCracken will be working on everything possible to ensure that he wins. We already know that Joshua is training with sparring partners the same height and built as the stocky 6’2″ Ruiz. There’s news reports that Joshua is sparring with 6’2″, 245 pound Dereck Chisora. He’s built somewhat the same as Ruiz, but much different in terms of hand speed and the way he fights. Chisora fights more like the late Joe Frazier. Ruiz fights nothing like that.

We’ll have to see how Bradley spins things if Ruiz wins again. Does Bradley blame a second loss for Joshua on him overlooking Ruiz again? At some point you’ve got to admit that Ruiz has got Joshua’s number.


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