LONDON. — Anthony Joshua is making “all the right noises” after sparring with Zimbabwe-born heavyweight boxer Derek Chisora, according to David Haye.
Joshua is three-and-a-half weeks away from his rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr with the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles at stake on December 7, and was joined in training by Chisora last week.
“He sparred with AJ, he didn’t even tell me,” Chisora’s manager Haye said. “Normally he wouldn’t do it. But he’s ticked over in the gym and said he enjoyed sparring.”
Chisora recently stopped David Price and, as he chases a fight with Oleksandr Usyk, went to sharpen his tools alongside Joshua who he once shared an amateur gym with.
“Derek was impressed,” Haye said. “AJ was super-fit, in great shape, focused on his boxing.
“All the right noises were coming out of the camp. There were multiple sparring partners including Bryant Jennings.
“AJ has slimmed down – if you’re going to have a long-range boxing match then trim off any unnecessary muscle.”
Ruiz Jr is also expecting to weigh-in lighter than the 19st 11lbs frame that he hit before beating Joshua last time.
“We want to feel light so it’s easier for him to move on his feet,” Ruiz Jr’s nutritionist and chef told Sky Sports last week.
Chisora, meanwhile, has delighted his manager Haye by not slipping back into his bad habits between fights.
“Derek’s mind-set now has the willingness to pay the price in training,” said Haye. “He focuses on the fundamentals of hard work – it is not fun to work hard and to eat boring meals. He’s done that in the past but now he’s lean and mean. Straight after his fight [with Price] he said: ‘I need to lose weight’.
“He has an extra stone of weight that he is carrying. He can still do sprints, deadlifting and sprints. But a 120kg [18st 13lbs] Chisora would lose to a 113kg [17st 11lbs] Chisora who would have faster reactions. He understands that and says he will lose weight.”
A fight against Usyk “makes sense” according to Haye, particularly with the WBO belt at stake if it is vacated by the winner of Ruiz Jr vs Joshua.
But Usyk, who previously intended to fight for a heavyweight title in his next fight, opened the door to a non-title meeting with Chisora to avoid a lay-off.
“If it is possible to fight in between and not to wait for another six months, I think Chisora will be a good fight for Usyk,” his manager Egis Klimas told Sky Sports.
It was also confirmed Steve Broughton, introduced as Chisora’s latest trainer just days before his win against Price, would continue in his role.
“Derek was happy with his instructions between rounds and I’m confident Steve will lead the corner in his next few fights,” Haye said.
“I am there for every sparring session and I am confident that the instructions Steve gives are correct.” — Sky Sports