By Thomas Reynolds
Last Updated: 3rd May 2019
Four-belt heavyweight champion of the world and William Hill brand ambassador Anthony Joshua took time out from training for his clash with Andy Ruiz at Madison Square Garden on Saturday 1st June to talk through the unusual build up to the fight and his new opponent’s game.
The champ was in relaxed form across five minutes from the ring apron with our man CheekySport Dave, even treating the crew to a rendition of a Will Smith classic to round things off.
AJ had plenty to say on the serious business of boxing before that melodious farewell, breaking down why he wasn’t surprised when Jarrell Miller tested positive for a banned substance, how experience has helped him adapt his training to late opponent changes and how he’ll go about beating Ruiz.
Video: AJ chats to William Hill ahead of Andy Ruiz at MSG
AJ on the ongoing refining of his training regime
Normally exhausted by this stage of his training in the build up to a fight, AJ’s in better spirits than usual due to the continuous adaptations his team have been making to his preparation. Quality over quantity is the approach for the build-up to his American debut.
Experience has also taught the champion to focus on improving himself rather tailoring his preparation to his opponents, with a couple of exceptions. The southpaw Charles Martin was one, while the disgraced Miller, with his heavy punch output, was another.
AJ on Miller
Joshua wasn’t overly surprised when news broke of Miller’s positive test for a banned substance. Why?
Doing his due diligence on the Brooklyn big mouth, the champ’s team noted the eyebrow-raising punch volume he managed for a man of his stature, higher even than AJ himself typically threw.
For all the former kickboxer punched himself in the face with his fight-thwarting doping breach, the world heavyweight boss remains disappointed his chance to hurt the American never arrived after all his trash talking and press conference physicality.
AJ on Ruiz
Despite Joshua reckoning CheekySport Dave has a more obvious fighter’s physique than the Destroyer, he regards his next opponent as a talented fighter.
While Ruiz’s punch output isn’t as high as Miller’s, he’s more selective and punches to knock you out, rather than wear you down with volume.
AJ’s plan is to box, defend, counter and control the bout from the opening bell, although he freely admits any continuation of the sledging that’s already seen the Mexican-American label the Brit a ‘robot’ could see him decide to up his focus on inflicting maximum damage at MSG.