- 7 Sep 2019, 22:39
ANTHONY JOSHUA and Andy Ruiz Jr held their final press conference in London ahead of December’s big fight in Saudi Arabia.
And Joshua surprised punters by labelling the man who stunned him in New York “the best heavyweight out there” – while former world champion Joseph Parker has claimed Tyson Fury is in good shape ahead of his Otto Wallin fight.
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CALLUM SMITH’S coach Joe Gallagher wants Eddie Hearn to let his man move to light-heavyweight so he can fight Sergey Kovalev.
Gallagher told Boxing news: “Kovalev’s a great fighter, a great champion, but we’ll do him.
“Get Callum Smith in there with him.
“Have him become the first name that comes out of your mouth.”
ANTHONY JOSHUA has sparring plans in place ahead of his fight with Andy Ruiz Jr on December 7.
The Brit struggled to find a partner to replicate Ruiz ahead of his June defeat to the Mexican.
But Eddie Hearn told Sky Sports he would not make the same mistakes again.
The Matchroom promoter said: “It’s so difficult to replicate the style of Andy Ruiz.
“The guy is 6’1”, he’s 19st, and he’s got speed like a middleweight.
“It’s one thing getting a sparring partner in, it’s getting them to let their hands go against Anthony Joshua. Would you want to do it? You’ve got to be mad to even spar with him, let alone fight him.
“We’ve got more heavyweights than anyone. I don’t really want them helping out Andy Ruiz. We’ve already identified probably half-a-dozen guys who we think are the right mould.
“One of the problems last time was we had six weeks to prepare. Ruiz was coming off Alexander Dimitrenko, which was actually a great style to prepare for Anthony Joshua.
“We tried to get the sparring in, we struggled a little bit, no excuses, but this time around the preparation has got to be spot on.
“There’s six, seven guys we’ve already identified and hopefully they make the trip and we can get the absolute best preparation this time around.”
ANTHONY JOSHUA has dismissed Saudi Arabia’s shocking human rights record towards gays and told fans: If you’re not allowed to come to the country, just stay at home and watch me on TV.
Joshua will face Andy Ruiz Jr in December desperate to reclaim his world heavyweight titles – but the decision to stage the fight in a country where homosexuality is illegal.
The 29-year-old has tried to steer clear of questions about whether it is right to be taking the millions on offer to compete in a country with such strict laws.
But asked by the BBC about the fact homosexuals can receive the death penalty, Joshua let his guard down for the first time.
He said: “There are certain polices that are in place in the country and there are certain policies we just have to abide by, and I abide by the law and that’s just how it goes in certain places.
“If you cant come to the country, you can still watch it, you’re still open to support and I appreciate your support from every community.”
AJ ALSO had a little dig at promoter Eddie Hearn and heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder.
After reading a tweet about the way Hearn looks at him, the Watford man joked: “He’s thinking, ‘Just make sure the money’s in the account son.’”
In another, where he is told he sucks and would be “destroyed” by Wilder, AJ responded: “That’s me! But everyone is entitled to their opinion.
“I’m looking forward to that fight.”
And then the final tweet to Joshua ripped into the ex-champ – but the video silenced out AJ’s reply.
ANTHONY JOSHUA laughed off claims on Twitter that he is a ladies man by insisting: “I’m a loyal man.”
The British heavyweight star, 29, and his conqueror Andy Ruiz Jr took time away from their pre-rematch press conferences to respond to trolls on Twitter.
And one of those tweets said: “Imagine breaking up w ur girl then she’s chilling with Anthony Joshua Lol that’s pain.”
The tweet could be in relation to the selfie AJ had with Maya Jama just days after the presenter’s shock split with rapper Stormzy.
But a smiling Joshua responded: “Listen. I don’t know where this reputation has stemmed from but I’m a loyal man. I would never do that.”
Little is known about Joshua’s personal life, although he does have a son Joseph, three, with his ex-partner Nicole Osborne.
The pair were on-off lovers since school but it is unclear what Joshua’s current relationship status is.