Boxing-Joshua lightens the load as Ruiz Jr piles on the pounds

Boxing-Joshua lightens the load as Ruiz Jr piles on the pounds

Lean-lookingBritish challenger Anthony Joshua weighed in more than three stoneslighter than world heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr ahead of theirtitle rematch in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

Joshua hit thescales at 16 stones and 13 pounds (107.5kg), the former champion's lightestever weight for a world title fight, at the Diriyah venue near thecapital Riyadh on Friday.

Mexican-AmericanRuiz, wearing a sombrero and stepping up after Joshua, was 20 stones and threepounds (128.3kg) — heavier than he was in the first showdown between the twoat New York's Madison Square Garden in June.

The pair thenshared a handshake in their final face to face meeting before the fight.

Ruiz clambered intothe ring at 19 stone and two pounds last time, when he came in at short noticeand dethroned the previously undefeated Joshua with a seventh round stoppage inone of boxing's biggest upsets.

Joshua was 17 stonenine pounds for that New York fight which has left him facing a make-or-breakbout to reclaim the belts and maintain the dream of a unified title despiteinitially dismissing it all as a "minor setback".

Saturday's WBA, IBFand WBO heavyweight title rematch has been billed the 'Clash on the Dunes' bypromoters eager to accept the highly lucrative if also controversial Saudiinvitation.

The WBC title isheld by American Deontay Wilder, who is due to fight a rematch with Britain'sundefeated Tyson Fury in February after a draw between them in December 2018.

"I feel good.The weigh-in is important but as heavyweights it don't really matter… skillspay the bills," Joshua told Sky Sport television.

"He's a biglad, they should make a super-heavyweight division," added Joshua of Ruiz,who will be hoping to use his weight as a weapon against the more athletic andchiselled challenger.

"The art ofthe game is to hit and not get hit, and avoid those punches… I'll definitelybe beating him to the punch tomorrow night."

Ruiz, who hadtalked in the run-up about losing weight but has been hungry for more than justsuccess on Friday's evidence, has suggested Joshua could regret shedding thepounds when the going gets tough. 

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