Former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield believes Andy Ruiz Jr can stop Anthony Joshua again in their rematch in Saudi Arabia next month.
The 57-year-old – who sparred the Mexican-American when the Destroyer was just 19 – has insisted AJ must change his tactics if he wishes to emerge victorious.
British star Joshua was stopped by Ruiz Jr in June at Madison Square Garden after being floored four times on his US debut. And Holyfield has declared that he always knew the 30-year-old was something special having shared a ring with him.
Speaking to World Boxing News, he said: “Andy Ruiz Jr. really can fight. He has fast hands and can really hit hard. But don’t nobody seem to know it. 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.”Photo Credit: Getty