Dereck Chisora has been impressed by Anthony Joshua in sparring, according to his manager David Haye.
Chisora, who is coming off a stoppage win over David Price last month, sneaked back into the gym to spar some round with Joshua ahead of his rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr for the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles in Saudi Arabia on December 7.
“He sparred with AJ, he didn’t even tell me,” Chisora’s manager Haye said to Sky Sports. “Normally he wouldn’t do it. But he’s ticked over in the gym and said he enjoyed sparring.
“Dereck was impressed. AJ was super-fit, in great shape, focused on his boxing.
“All the right noises were coming out of the camp. There were multiple sparring partners including Bryant Jennings.
“AJ has slimmed down – if you’re going to have a long-range boxing match then trim off any unnecessary muscle.”
Haye says a renewed dedication by Chisora both at the gym and the dinner table will extend the 35-year-old veteran’s career.
“Dereck’s mind-set now has the willingness to pay the price in training,” continued Haye. “He focuses on the fundamentals of hard work – it is not fun to work hard and to eat boring meals.
“He’s done that in the past but now he’s lean and mean. Straight after his fight [with Price] he said: ‘I need to lose weight’.
“He has an extra stone of weight that he is carrying. He can still do sprints, deadlifting and sprints.
“But a 120kg [265-pound] Chisora would lose to a 113kg [250-pound] Chisora who would have faster reactions. He understands that and says he will lose weight.”
Haye added that a fight against former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk “makes sense”, particularly with the WBO belt at stake if it is vacated by the winner of Ruiz Jr vs Joshua.
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