The rematch between Andy Ruiz and Anthony Joshua is only two weeks away, and while some of the sheen of the event has been taken by bringing it to Saudi Arabia, it is sure to be a fight that has the world's attention.
Ruiz pulled off an upset for the ages in the original bout, knocking out world champion Joshua after being drafted in as a late replacement. He won the hearts of the public in that fight, being labelled as something of an everyman.
Whereas the British fighter has an incredible physique, his opponent's was in a condition much more familiar to general members of the public. That didn't stop him from earning the victory but he seems to have turned over a new leaf for the upcoming fight.
Ruiz and his team have made an effort to shed some of those extra pounds ahead of the rematch, a decision that has been questioned by many including legendary trainer Freddie Roach.
Roach was speaking to Fight Hub TV when he said that Ruiz was 'foolish' to lose the weight, claiming it was only done to make him a more appealing sight to the viewers.
I’ve seen where they took him away, brought him to Vegas, then brought him with a new coach, and paid him to lose weight. And the lighter he was, the more he got paid. And I say ‘yeah, but he’s not effective at that weight.’
“I say ‘This guy is one of the best fighters in the world when he’s heavy. He puts combinations together really, really well — better than any heavyweight I’ve seen — and he absorbs punches very well.’ I’ve never seen him hurt by a body shot or a head shot.
He won the title fat, what’s wrong with that?! I mean, just because he’s a little skinnier he looks more presentable or something like that?
This is not a modelling show, I mean, this is a fighting show and I don’t think he needed to lose any weight. I don’t...
They made him skinny to make him look better for the audience. That’s the only reason. That’s foolish. I mean, who gives a shit what he looks like?! He’s a little chubby, yeah, but he fights really, really well.