Anthony Joshua 'won't make sparring mistakes' that saw him suffer biggest heavyweight shock against Ruiz for Pulev fight

ANTHONY JOSHUA is determined to get his sparring sessions "spot on" to avoid another shock of Andy Ruiz Jr proportions.

AJ is set to defend his heavyweight world titles against Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev in December.


Back in June last year the Brit was on the end of one of heavyweight boxing's biggest ever upsets when he was floored four times before being stopped by Ruiz Jr.

It saw the Mexican pick up the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO world titles.

There were rumours AJ had been "knocked out" in sparring before that night which his team denied.

But Joshua regrouped, changed up his training camp and easily outpointed an out-of-shape Ruiz Jr in their December rematch.

Now Joshua's promoter Hearn is adamant the 30-year-old won't "make that mistake again".

Speaking to Sky Sports, the Matchroom boss said: "Sparring wise? You need a tall, stand-up fighter who is technically sound.

"Looking around? The likes of Dominic Breazeale, as an example. A stand-up heavyweight.

"Pulev is very experienced, very good technically, punches a bit. You need to find a tall heavyweight that replicates that style.

"Against Ruiz Jr the second time, they got their sparring spot on. That is so important moving forwards."

Then, hinting that sparring in the lead-up to the shock defeat to Ruiz Jr wasn't quite right, Hearn added: "He won't make that mistake again, of overlooking that element.

"His sparring for Pulev will be spot on."

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Providing Joshua comes through the Pulev fight, it could set up two mouthwatering clashes against fellow Brit and WBC champ Tyson Fury.

The Gypsy King has his own bit of business to take care of first with the trilogy scrap against Deontay Wilder.

If that defence is successful, 2021 could see a Battle Of Britain for 'all the belts'.

And there could be many other HUGE fights on the horizon – with the shock revelation that Hearn is in talks with rival promoter Frank Warren for the first time.

It comes after SunSport exclusively reported the Queensberry boss and his broadcasters challenged Matchroom to two five-fight shows which pit the best of each stable against the other.

Star names from Warren’s team — including heavyweight sensation Daniel Dubois and light-heavy star Anthony Yarde — have been offered up to Hearn’s Dillian Whyte and undefeated Joshua Buatsi.

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