Anthony Joshua mocked rival Andy Ruiz Jr. after weighing in more than three stones lighter for their world heavyweight title rematch in Saudi Arabia on Saturday night.
While Joshua tipped the scales at 16 stone 13lbs – 10 pounds lighter than for their first fight in June – Ruiz has piled on more than a stone to tip the scales at 20 stone 3lbs.
It makes Ruiz the second-heaviest defending champion in heavyweight history, behind only the 7ft Russian Nikolai Valuev.
Joshua told Sky Sports: “He’s a big lad – they should make a super-heavyweight division because it’s such a vast difference.”
While Joshua’s relatively minor weight loss comes as no surprise, the extent that Ruiz appears to have piled on the pounds must surely cause concern amongst his Mexican supporters.
Ominously, his increase of one stone and one pound is the same as that put on by James ‘Buster’ Douglas when he rolled over against Evander Holyfield eight months after stunning Mike Tyson in Tokyo in 1990.
While it appeared to contradict Ruiz’s claim that he has not let success go to his head, there was also the possibility that the champion – who did not take off his sombrero – might not be quite as heavy as it seemed.
Ruiz’s trainer Manny Robles said he was unconcerned by the result on the scales. He told PA Media: “Andy has been pretty much spending the entire year in the gym.
“He has fought three times this year, starting in the gym, and that is tough for a fighter. I know there’s a lot of people out there who still don’t believe in us but we do and that’s all that matters.”
Meanwhile Joshua’s weight loss appeared to vindicate suggestions that he will aim to make himself more elusive, avoiding Ruiz’s dangerous swings and dragging him into the later rounds where stamina will play a major part.
Joshua, who has played down the significance of the weigh-in all week, said: “Sparring governs your weight. If I am 100kg and I am doing OK in sparring, then that’s the right weight because sparring is the closest you get to fighting.
“The weight doesn’t really matter but I am what I am and I feel good. If he is three stones heavier, I will definitely be beating him to the punch.”