Joshua made a statement by weighing in at 16st 13lbs, having displayed a slimline physique all week, while Ruiz Jr was heavier than before their first fight at 20st 3lbs.
Ruiz Jr has increased in weight by over a stone since beating Joshua in their first fight (he weighed in last time at 19st 2lbs) while Joshua has drastically reduced from 17st 9lbs.
Asked if he was surprised at the substantial difference in weight, Joshua told Sky Sports News: “Not really, he’s a big lad. It’s a vast difference. The art of the game is to hit and not get hit.
“I will definitely be beating him to the punch.
“He’s a big lad, I’m a big lad, and we hit hard regardless.
“The physical stuff is done. It’s about the mental now. Aligning my body and my thoughts.
“I will be victorious.
“Within myself, I am confident. But I have to prove it to the world.
“I feel good. The weigh-in is important but, as heavyweights, it doesn’t matter because skills pay the bills.”
Joshua’s world title weigh-in results
|Ruiz Jr||17st 9lbs|
Joshua claimed earlier this week that his mission to avenge defeat to Ruiz Jr was “a marathon not a sprint”, and his weigh-in result is the strongest indication yet that he plans to drag the new champion into the later rounds.
For Ruiz Jr’s part, he questioned last month whether shedding muscle mass was a good idea for Joshua, wondering “if he will take the punches as well”.
But Mexico’s first world heavyweight champion also posted surprising results at Friday’s weigh-in, after also making noises in the build-up that he had lost weight.
He planned to “feel light so it’s easier to move on his feet” according to his chef and nutritionist.
Kindly Share This Story Mexican-American heavyweight boxing champion Andy Ruiz Jr (L) and British heavyweight boxing challenger Anthony Joshua pose during the official weigh-in in the Saudi capital Riyadh. Photo: AFP
Anthony Joshua on Friday weighed in more than 20 kilograms (44 pounds) lighter than heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr ahead of their controversial rematch in Saudi Arabia.
The leaner and meaner British boxer seeks to win back the IBF, WBA and WBO titles that he lost to Ruiz in a shock June defeat in New York in a high-profile duel on Saturday, dubbed “Clash on the Dunes”.
Joshua weighed in much lighter compared to their June encounter, hitting the scales at 16 stones and 13 pounds (107.5 kg) ahead of the fight, seen as the biggest test of his boxing career.
Ruiz, sporting a Mexican sombrero hat, tipped the scales at 20 stones and three pounds (128.36 kg), heavier than what he weighed in their June encounter in New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Joshua weighed in at 247.8 pounds (112.4 kg) in June, but the boxer has shed muscle mass in order to improve his mobility around the ring.
“Before I was trying to bench press a house. I used my body to get where I needed but then I started realising the sweet science of the sport,” Joshua said.
“I am punching like a horse kicking backwards right now.”
The stakes could not be higher for Joshua, who would face a long road back to the pinnacle of the heavyweight division if he loses Saturday’s much-hyped fight.
Victory, by contrast, would re-establish his credentials in the division, opening the door to money-spinning fights against WBC champion Deontay Wilder or fellow Briton Tyson Fury.
Ruiz says he is ready to take on the British challenger despite his increased fitness.
“I know he’s lost weight and will try to box me around, but it’s just my job to prevent that,” Ruiz said earlier this week.
“I’m ready for whatever comes my way.”
The rematch will be taking place in a purpose built 15,000-seat arena in Diriyah on the outskirts of the Saudi capital Riyadh.
Saudi Arabia secured the staging rights to the rematch after reportedly offering an astronomical purse to promoters and fighters.
Joshua’s take is reported to be around $60 million while promoters Matchroom Boxing were handed an eye-popping $40 million site fee to award the fight to Saudi Arabia.
Ruiz, who was locked into a rematch at a set figure as a condition of his first meeting with Joshua, is expected to receive $9 million.