Lean fighting machine! Anthony Joshua shows off new slimmed-down figure in Instagram snap ahead of highly-anticipated rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia
- Anthony Joshua will lock horns with Andy Ruiz Jr on Saturday for their rematch
- The Mexican shocked boxing by stopping him in June to claim his world titles
- Joshua has always had a muscular figure but it was thought he would tone down
- The heavyweight has shown off his lean build ahead of the crucial showdown
His rivals have mocked him as a ‘bodybuilder’ in the past, but it looks like the bulky, imposing version of Anthony Joshua is no more.
The heavyweight showcased his new lean figure ahead of his rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia on Saturday night, with the Watford fighter clearly indicating a different game plan for his Clash on the Dunes on December 7.
Joshua was floored four times en route to a seventh round stoppage in June as Ruiz Jr became the first Mexican heavyweight champion of the world, taking all four of his straps and sending shockwaves around the sport.
Anthony Joshua showed boxing fans his new toned figure ahead of his rematch in Saudi Arabia
His defeat has been the subject of heavy speculation from fans and pundits as rumours circulate on the cause of his poor display at Madison Square Garden, but Ruiz Jr has previously commented on AJ’s size and muscular build, saying: ‘He’s strong and big, but none of that really matters.’
And it looks like Joshua now shares that view as he was pictured looking much more trimmed down in an Instagram post by his promoter Eddie Hearn.
The 30-year-old still looked in great shape without such an imposing figure, and Hearn himself couldn’t help but marvel at his new-look fighter.
Eddie Hearn couldn’t hide his admiration for his prize fighter’s new shape on Instagram
The 30-year-old is looking to become a two-time world champion by beating Andy Ruiz Jr
He wrote: ‘When you realise 1. AJ is ready, 2. Whatever you do, keep your suit on.’
AJ fans were quick to react to the post as anticipation for the bout in Diriyah ramps up, with many feeling that his lean shape will allow him to move around the ring quicker – which should give him an edge against the lightning hand speed of Ruiz.
Joshua had sent the Mexican tumbling to the canvas in round three of their first bout in New York after a lovely combination. The Brit attempted to go in for the kill after he clambered to his feet, but Ruiz dazzled him with a powerful left hook before knocking him down.
Joshua was shocked and shaken by Ruiz Jr in New York in June as he was floored four times
The pair go head-to-head in a press conference ahead of their highly-anticipated rematch
AJ never recovered and his decision to go toe-to-toe with Ruiz looks to have been a crucial factor in his loss, so being lighter and quicker to keep him at range for the rematch might aid his cause.
Ruiz has already had his say on the possibility of a leaner Joshua in the build up to the fight, saying he’s not concerned and will focus on a repeat.
He told Sky Sports: ‘I don’t think it’ll matter, I’ll weigh the same I did on June 1.
‘I know ‘AJ’ has been working on different technicals, he’s slimmed down, so we’ve been working on different things and angles, different pressures and combos, ready for whatever he brings.
The fighters stand in front of the stage in Diriyah where they will be scrapping on December 7
‘I didn’t want to do anything different. We just trained harder and focused more in the gym on the speed and the technicals, and of course the pressure.’
Joshua has an impressive list of ‘showreel’ knockouts in his career so far, but he insists a win over Ruiz Jr is all that matters.
‘This time, I am not here to put on a show, just to win,’ he told reporters.
‘Look at the undercard – I fought most of those guys and won. I have been around the block in a short space of time. I am definitely experienced and I know what I am doing.’
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