LONDON – Anthony Joshua and fellow British heavyweight boxer Derek Chisora were set to lock horns yesterday in sparring as they both prepare for high-stakes heavyweight fights.
Next Saturday, Zimbabwe-born Chisora meets David Price while Joshua aims to avenge defeat to Andy Ruiz (Jnr) in a rematch on December 7.
Joshua criticised sparring partners for leaking “false allegations” in the build-up to his first fight with Ruiz Jr so has set about identifying a higher quality of boxer to help him get ready for the rematch.
“He’s sparring Chisora (yesterday). That is great sparring for both,” promoter Eddie Hearn told Sky Sports.
“The difference in this camp is the quality of sparring – replicating Ruiz (Jnr’s) style. It is a unique style and not many people can do it.
“I’ve seen pictures of Ruiz (Jnr) – he looks lighter but I don’t know if they were photo-shopped!
“There are plenty of hard rounds of sparring to go but AJ is a good place, he’s just turned 30.”
Joshua and Chisora both came through the same Finchley amateur gym but are not regular sparring partners.
Chisora revealed plans to spar last week, and his manager David Haye explained: “For both of their respective fights, they are ideal sparring partners for each other.
“If any heavyweight can mimic Ruiz (Jnr’s) pressure, it is Derek. If anyone can mimic Price’s long-range jab, it is AJ.”
Joshua “struggled” to prepare with sparring partners that replicated Ruiz Jr before the first fight because his then-challenger came in as a replacement for Jarrell Miller.
“First time around we only had four weeks, and three weeks of sparring,” Hearn previously said. “We found guys but probably not the guys we really wanted.”
Joshua denied rumours that he was hurt in sparring prior to the first fight with Ruiz (Jnr).
He told AJ: The Untold Truth: ” You bring someone into your training camp to do them a favour, you’re paying them, nothing like (the knock-down rumour) in that nature has happened, you beat them up in every round, then they go and do an interview.
“It just happens all the time in boxing, there is just a lot of envy.”
American Timothy Moten, unbeaten in five fights, has also sparred Joshua during camp for the rematch with Ruiz (Jnr). – Sky Sports