The Mexican, The Replica And The Slugger - Sparring Partners In AJ's Corner

Joshua has called on a number of boxers to get him ready for Saturday
12:51, 04 Dec 2019

Anthony Joshua is leaving nothing to chance as he bids to reclaim his World Heavyweight Championship belts from Andy Ruiz Jr., with a string of different sparring partners having been used to get him in prime condition for the fight in Diriyah on Saturday.

"I can't always be the one bringing the energy to the camp, so we've had good sparring partners," Joshua told The Sportsman. "I think sparring partners never get enough credit to help preparation. They've done a great job getting me ready and it's been a championship camp. I think through experience we've got to that level."

There have even been reports circulating throughout the week that Joshua has sent sparring partners home earlier than planned due to them sustaining beatings from the former champion during their sessions. No specifics have been mentioned, but Joshua has brought a number of interesting sparring partners together as part of his plan to topple the Mexican.

Below we look at the different fighters Joshua has had in his camp, and what they all brought to the party individually.

 

Dereck Chisora - The Slugger

Joshua's fellow British heavyweight contender Dereck Chisora may not be gifted with the same hand speed and engine that Andy Ruiz has, but he is a come-forward brawler. Chisora is one of the most experienced heavyweights in the world today. He poses a style that applies consistent pressure throughout a 12-round fight, giving Joshua a gauge of what to expect on Saturday night.

Chisora is 6'1" and has a reach of 74 inches, which replicated the exact size that Andy Ruiz will produce and bring to the rematch this weekend. He also has a high knockout ratio and mixes up his offence to head and body very well in a bid to break down his opponents.  

 

Andrew Tabiti - The Prodigy

Former world title challenger Andrew Tabiti is nowhere near the same size as Andy Ruiz in terms of weight, but he does have a longer reach and fast hands. He is the only fighter outside of the heavyweight division that was inside Joshua's training camp. The American has campaigned at the cruiserweight division throughout his career, but has defeated some former heavyweight fighters and world champions in Steve Cunningham and Lateef Kayode.

Tabiti has been a prodigy of the famous Mayweather Gym and has been overseen by Floyd Mayweather Jr. throughout his career. Tabiti is a lean, fast and physically very strong boxer with an established inside game.

Elvis Garcia Munoz - The Mexican

Mexican heavyweight prospect Elvis Garcia turned professional back in 2017. He is something of an unknown quantity to most of the public due to the fact all of his fights have taken place in Mexico, but he is of a similar style to Andy Ruiz at 6'2" tall.

More of a volume and creative puncher, Garcia has a low knockout percentage but does bring to the table an amateur background of 15 fights and also competed in the World Series of Boxing. According to Timothy Moten, who was also in the camp, Garcia was firing back and going toe-to-toe with Joshua in every sparring session and delivered the constant fluent pressure that Ruiz is known for. 

 

Timothy Moten - The Replica

An undefeated heavyweight contender from the United States, Timothy Moten, who fights as an orthodox, was one of the less-experienced fighters brought in for the camp by Joshua. However, he is fresher, younger and comes in at just 5'11", one of the shorter heavyweights in the division today.

One of Moten's best attributes is his counter-punching capabilities, which would have given Joshua a good sense of what to expect from a much shorter opponent in the opposite corner. Moten is short, heavy but very stocky and has a good inside game.  

 

Tom Little - The Journey Man

Tom Little may have some of the best experience sparring-wise of the fighters brought into the training camp by Joshua. Little was preparing for his next fight against highly-touted prospect Mahammadrasul Majidov on the undercard this weekend.

Little, who is a traveller, has only suffered defeats to some of the best in the division, as well as two of Britain's top heavyweights in Daniel Dubios and David Price. Little is known for his gruelling come-forward pressure, and the ability to take heavy punishment and size.

"It's very good to be in the Joshua camp, sharing the ring with a former undisputed world champion, he punches like a mule, very humble guy, he'll help you if he can," he told The Sportsman in Diriyah.

"He seems in a good place but you won't know until them lights go down and that bell rings, that's when you're going to find out what sort of champion he really was. I see nothing other than a good win for him here on Saturday. As far as I can see he has done everything, trained diligently, but this is where you will see if he is cut from the Lennox Lewis cloth or he's just a one-time champ."

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