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Dereck Chisora IMPRESSED with Anthony Joshua’s conditioning after sparring – David Haye

Anthony Joshua, David Haye, Derek Chisora boxing photo and news image

By Tim Royner: After sparring with former heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua last week, Dereck Chisora came away impressed with his fitness level and overall conditioning as his prepares for his rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr., according to manager David Haye.

Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) is trying to make improvements on his stamina so that he doesn’t fade on December 7 when he shares the ring with the IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Ruiz (33-1, 22 KOs) in Saudi Arabia. If Ruiz jumps on Joshua early, he may not get a chance to show off his conditioning.

AJ trimming off muscle weight

Joshua, 29, has trimmed off a lot of muscle weight from the 247 pounds that he weighed for his previous fight against Ruiz on June 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York. At that weight, Joshua looked like a contestant for the Mr. Universe bodybuilding competition.

Joshua has stamina problems since his fight against Dillian Whyte in 2015. He weighed 245 lbs. for that match. Joshua started his career at 230 lbs in 2013.  Given that Joshua was mowing down his early opposition as a professional, it’s impossible to know if his stamina was better back then at a lighter weight.

The question what weight will work for Joshua in the rematch with Ruiz. In the 2012 Olympics, Joshua weighed 225 lbs, and he was capable of throwing non stop punches. Instead of staying at that weight as a professional, Joshua hit the iron and bulked up to 250 lbs. Not surprisingly, Joshua has had stamina problems off and on when facing high level opposition.

Chisora impressed with Joshua’s conditioning – Haye

“Derek was impressed,” Haye said. “AJ was super-fit, in great shape, focused on his boxing,” said Haye to “All the right noises were coming out of the camp.

“There were multiple sparring partners including Bryant Jennings. AJ has slimmed down – if you’re going to have a long-range boxing match then trim off any unnecessary muscle.”

Logically, the thing for Joshua to do would be to take off the needless bodybuilding muscle and go back down to 225 lbs. Unfortunately, that might work against Joshua makes a dramatic move like that in such a short period of time.

While it is possible for Joshua’s body to get comfortable with him fighting at 225 lbs once again, it would be a mistake to take that much weight off quickly. Joshua isn’t going to do that. For the Ruiz fight, Joshua will likely weigh between 235 and 240 lbs He weighed 247 last time, and gassed out. So he’s not going to fight Ruiz at that weight again. Joshua has been reluctant to take off lots of weight since he bulked up to 240 in 2014.

Joshua appears to enjoy having all that muscle on his frame, even though it’s needless and works against him. To carry around muscle like that, a fighter needs a great cardiovascular system. Joshua doesn’t have that going for him. So the bulk is just for adornment purposes, and an anchor that drags him down when he faces good opposition.

It wasn’t surprising that Joshua ran out of gas after just 3 rounds. Ruiz had it easy in stopping Joshua in seven rounds after he gassed. He probably could have knocked out Joshua in the 4th if he’d pressed him hard, but he was wary of getting caught with his left hook again like he had in getting dropped in the 3rd.

It took Ruiz a few rounds to realize that Joshua wasn’t going to get his second wind. Once he realized that, Ruiz batted Joshua around the ring until the fight was stopped in the 7th.

Joshua using the slow 260 pound Chisora (32-9, 23 KOs) as a sparring partner to prepare for Ruiz is a waste of time on his part, as they are completely different fighters. Chisora uses that Joe Frazier style off fighting, and he doesn’t possess the speed, combination punching or the youth of Ruiz.

The only thing that Chisora an approximate is the height of the 6’2″ Ruiz. They’re both about the same height, and both wide bodies. But that’s where the similarities end.

Bryant Jennings is also a completely different fighter as Ruiz. Former world title challenger Jennings is slender, and not a good combination puncher like Ruiz. It’s unclear why Joshua is using Jennings. He’s someone that Joshua would be better off using for a fight against Michael Hunter, but not Ruiz. If this is Joshua’s trainer Rob McCracken’s idea to have him sparr Jennings and Chisora, then it’s not surprising. McCracken hasn’t done much to improve Joshua since he turned pro, and there a lot of boxing fans who feel it’s time for AJ to dump him.

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