As the clock ticks down to the money-spinning rematch of Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia this weekend, reports have it that the revenge-seeking Joshua has floored several sparring partners.
According to UK’s Daily Mail, the reports came from American heavyweight, Timothy Moten who has been in camp with Joshua for the past three months, having been flown out to be one of his chief sparring partners.
He reported that Joshua has been in devastating form in training as he bids to reclaim the WBA, WBO and IBF belts he surrendered to Ruiz back in June.
‘There have been guys here, I don’t want to say any names, but I’ve seen guys come into camp, get blown away and get sent home that same week,’ he said.
He’s dropped a few of his sparring partners and he’s rocked a lot. Joshua is by far the hardest hitter I’ve been in the ring with.’
Moten wanted to help Joshua ahead of his major upset defeat at Madison Square Garden and was brought into this camp specifically to replicate the style of Ruiz, whom he shares a similar stature to, after reaching out to his team.
The 27-year-old has sparred over 60 gruelling rounds with Joshua in the build-up to his rematch with Ruiz, but it is the words that they’ve shared that has convinced him most lightning will not strike twice.
‘Almost every session I ask him how he’s doing, what he thinking,’ Moten says. ‘He says to me, “Ready, ready”. Mentally he is in a good place. I can see that in his eyes. He’s got a focus I’ve not seen.’
Moten believes that losing to Ruiz has woken up the ‘monster’ in Joshua. ‘I think he may have needed that wake-up call. He needed to get that hunger back and I’m telling you, it’s there again,’ the American says.
‘He’s got that warrior’s spirit. His mentality is to destroy. He is like a focused, caged lion and when the time is right, he will unleash.’
Joshua’s plans were derailed last time after he was caught high on the temple just moments after putting Ruiz down in the third round of their first fight.
It was the shot that led to Joshua’s demise as the Brit was sent crushing to the canvas four times on route to a seventh-round stoppage defeat – the first of his professional career.
Moten says there is little chance of that being repeated as Joshua has prepared accordingly and will be much more collected in his approach this time.
‘There’s always a point in every Andy Ruiz fight where he reverts to that Mexican background and he is ready to bang, we saw that with Anthony Joshua in the first fight,’ Moten adds.
‘When Joshua floored him, he was hurt and that Mexican style came out. Joshua has been sparring a Mexican heavyweight, Elvis Garcia, who is exactly the same.
‘One time Garcia was hit with a big shot by Joshua in sparring and we all thought: “Wooh, is he out” but then he came firing back at him, so Joshua is learning to keep his composure, move his head, keep his guard up high even if he lands hurtful shots.
‘And then on top of that he has other guys here to work with his speed and general sparring. He’s got a bunch of guys here that are just perfect, we all just work perfect when we are in there with him because everybody is pushing him and we are getting the best out of him and you’ll see the results on fight night.’