Eddie Hearn speaks out on Anthony Joshua sparring incident ahead of Andy Ruiz rematch

Anthony Joshua was rumoured to have been hurt in sparring in the lead-up to his world title rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr – but the Brit’s promoter Eddie Hearn has rubbished the claims, stating that AJ is ‘good to go’.

A report by World Boxing News surfaced on Monday which states that Joshua was ‘hurt’ during a sparring session over the last few weeks.

Joshua has changed up his sparring massively from the first fight, which saw him box with fighters similar in stature to original June 1 opponent Jarrell Miller.

But when Miller had to pull out of the fight after three failed drug tests, Ruiz stepped in, leaving Joshua with a problem finding new sparring partners.

AJ lost the fight via seventh-round TKO but will now get his chance at redemption on Saturday in the Diriyah desert.

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It was also claimed before the first clash that Joshua had been dropped in sparring by fellow heavyweight Joey Dawejko.

But regarding the latest rumour to come out of Joshua’s highly-talked about camp, Hearn has said that none of it is true, referencing sparring partner Timothy Moten’s claims that the Olympic gold medalist has been sending fighters home.

“[The rumour] from World Boxing News, the same guys who said Joey Dawejko cleaned AJ out in sparring in the summer,” Hearn told Behind The Gloves.

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“This morning there was a story in the Daily Mail which said ‘Joshua, electric in sparring, knocking everyone out, sending sparring partners home’.

“Then tonight there’s one from World Boxing News which says ‘Joshua hurt in camp’ I mean it’s not even worth answering.

“But the truth is he’s had a great camp, he’s much more focussed than last time and he’s sparred really well.

“The difference this time is his sparring has been world class, he’s had top guys – he’s had Andrew Tahiti, Tyrone Spong, Derek Chisora, Bryant Jennings.

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“They’ve consistently put pressure on him, he’s not been hurt, ill, or injured – he’s good to go.”

Joshua will become the first British two-time heavyweight champion of the world since Lennox Lewis with a win over Ruiz on Saturday.

A 16,000-seater arena has been set up for the event, which will be aired on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the U.S.

Joshua has also spoken of his sparring this year, stating that it’s been the best way to replicate what will happen on December 7.

“Sparring is important because it is the closest thing you can get to the fight,” he said.

“They throw everything at me, 12 rounds with five different people back-to-back and I’m dealing with every shot coming at me.”

“Timothy Moten is the same height and weight as Ruiz. It’s a completely different style to fighting a 6ft 6in boxer and I’ve picked up little tricks of the trade, it has been the right preparation.

“He has been here the whole 12-week camp. Dereck Chisora came with a Joe Frazier-style and he is strong on the inside so it was good to have someone challenge my strength and push me back. It was good to have the old Finchley Boys reunited, too.

“Pervizaj was another short guy with quick hands, he works with Klitschko’s manager Bernd Bonte and they sent him over. He came for a week.”

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