Former World Boxing Council Heavyweight WBC champion, Evander Holyfield has warned former Boxing World Heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua not to underrate current champion, Andy Ruiz Jr. ahead of their rematch on December 7 in Saudi Arabia.
Ruiz shocked the boxing world when he won the Joshua three world titles in June and given him his first loss with a seventh round TKO.
Many feel Joshua underestimated the American in their first bout, especially after he dropped him in the first round.
Ruiz, no doubt buoyed by his win over the summer, appears to have lost weight in order to make him quicker around the ring.
And former two-weight undisputed world champion, Holyfield, who sparred with Ruiz when he was still a teenager, insists Joshua will have his opponent “in his face” constantly in Saudi Arabia.
“Andy Ruiz Jr. really can fight. He has fast hands and can really hit hard. But nobody seems to know it,” Holyfield told World Boxing News
“Everyone is thinking it’s a fluke (that he beat Anthony Joshua the first time), but the guy showed he can get up from being knocked down. He got took down and got back up to win.”
He added: “You look at Ruiz and he doesn’t look like he can fight at all. Nothing tells you he can fight, but he can fight.
“I knew that he could fight because I sparred with him. At the time, I was 46 and he was 19. I couldn’t believe a 19-year-old could be that good and so aggressive, he would chase me down.
“I’m like, ‘I’m the heavyweight champion of the world, who’s he trying to chase down?’ It was just amazing the confidence that he had and the persistence to cut the ring down even in sparring.
“So, I know that persistently, he will fight that same fight that he fought last time. If he’s (Joshua) not ready to have someone in his face in the whole fight then it could end up the same way again.”