Anthony Joshua’s training camp for his rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr is going great guns, with reports emerging that he's knocked out several of his sparring partners in the build-up to the fight.
American heavyweight Timothy Moten, who has a similar frame to that of the Mexican champion, has been training with Joshua over the past three months and told Sportsmail about the brutality of AJ’s sparring sessions.
“There have been guys here, I don't want to say any names, but I've seen guys come into the camp, get blown away and get sent home that same week. 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 himself has shared more than 60 rounds with the British boxer in an attempt to teach the 6ft 6in giant how to deal with a smaller fighter like Ruiz. In the first fight, the Brit was caught on the inside by the powerful puncher, who got up from a third-round knockdown to hand AJ the very first loss of his professional career.
“Almost every session I ask him how he's doing, what he's thinking,' he continued. “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.”
This loss seems to have focused AJ, who is keen to take things back to basics in the rematch, and the shock loss could be the making of his entire career.
“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. 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."
Last week, we spoke to AJ's 2012 Team GB teammate, Luke Campbell, who described to The Sportsman just what happens in camp in the run-up to a fight and how they affect a fighter both mentally and physically.
Elsewhere, aerial images have been released showcasing the stunning 15,000-seat Diriyah Arena that will host the weekend's showdown.
Construction on the arena kicked off on the October 7 and used almost 300 tons of steel to cover an area of 10,000 sqm at the centre of historic UNESCO heritage site, Diriyah, the birthplace of the first kings of Saudi Arabia. It took 175 working dedicated staff to finish the works in time for what is considered the biggest fight in the past fifty years.
Anthony Joshua said: “It’s going to be an incredible night and I’m thrilled so many of my fans are going to be there, particularly from the UK.
"It’ll definitely be a night people will tell their grandchildren they were at, one of those iconic evenings of boxing. Everyone from Saudi has been brilliant to work with."
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