Former world champion Timothy Bradley has questioned the wisdom of Andy Ruiz Jr 33-1 (22) dropping weight ahead of his rematch with Anthony Joshua 22-1 (21) in Saudi Arabia on December 7.
Ruiz Jr was crowned IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion after his shock seventh-round knockout of Joshua in June when he weighed 268-pounds.
But recent photos have emerged showing a slimmed-down Ruiz Jr and Bradley doesn’t like it.
“I don’t like the fact that Ruiz is changing his whole look and whole physique,” Bradley said to Fighthype.
“I think that’s going to hurt him. But I think he might speed up with the hand speed. It might speed up, but I’m worried about the power.
“I don’t know if he’s going to have the weight behind his punches anymore, and that’s what he’s going to need honestly. That’s what he’s going to need to stop Joshua.
“He’s going to need that punching power, and his speed behind it. I told him the last time I saw him, ‘Be yourself, man. Who cares about all this stuff whatever. Be you. Do what got you there.’
“He just needs to be hungry. That’s it, and be a dog. Be able to take the punches from Joshua, and dish it back.”
Bradley insists Joshua is going to need to go for the knockout if he wants to regain his titles.
“He’s got to knock him out,” he said. “It was a mental thing, and it was a fact that he got caught right on the button. It was a fact that he didn’t train like he normally trains for big fights. He possibly took Ruiz lightly in looking at his physique like, ‘Ah, he’s nothing.’
“Giving him his belts at the weigh-in. Like, ‘Here hold my belts,’ at the press conference. I’m like yo, this dude is being a little bit too nice. He’s like trying to be the brother-in-law Ruiz a little bit. I just thought that was odd. I thought all those gestures were odd.”