LONDON. — Zimbabwe-born British heavyweight boxer Derek Chisora and his manager David Haye hope Anthony Joshua will agree to be sparring partners this week.
Chisora will fight David Price on October 26 while Joshua will challenge world heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz (Jnr) in a rematch on December 7.
“Sparring, yes,” Chisora said. “He’s tall, I’m short!
“I’m going to see him . . . He’s asked me a couple of times before but I’ve been too busy.”
Chisora and Joshua came through the same Finchley amateur gym and remain close, but have never sparred as professionals.
Chisora’s manager Haye said about negotiations to spar Joshua: “For both of their respective fights, they are ideal sparring partners for each other.
“If any heavyweight can mimic Ruiz Jr’s pressure, it is Derek. If anyone can mimic Price’s long-range jab, it is AJ.
“There is potential for sparring, particularly in the last week (of Chisora’s training camp). Six or eight rounds would be good preparation, not just for Derek, but for AJ as well.
“Hopefully we can get it over the line.”
Joshua’s team are keen to improve his pool of sparring partners, after promoter Eddie Hearn admitted they “struggled” to adequately copy Ruiz Jr’s style in the build-up to their first fight.
Hearn told Sky Sports earlier this week about Joshua’s revamped sparring: “We’ve got that under control.
“Sparring is something we’ve been working at. First time around we only had four weeks, and three weeks of sparring. We found guys but probably not the guys we really wanted.
“Now the sparring is top class. He is focused and looking great.”
Joshua was frustrated by rumours, which he denied, that a sparring partner had hurt him before he lost to Ruiz (Jnr).
Joshua said on AJ: The Untold Truth: “I feel like people are more interested in their five minutes of fame.
“Even in sparring, everyone wants to be famous, rather than a good fighter.
“You can’t even enjoy your training and work on things without someone trying to make up false allegations, and trying to get five minutes of fame.
“You bring someone into your training camp to do them a favour, you’re paying them, nothing like (the knock-down rumour) in that nature has happened, you beat them up in every round, then they go and do an interview.
“It just happens all the time in boxing, there is just a lot of envy.”
Hearn previously explained: “It’s so difficult to replicate the style of Andy Ruiz.
The guy is 6’1”, he’s 19st, and he’s got speed like a middleweight.
“It’s one thing getting a sparring partner in, it’s getting them to let their hands go against Anthony Joshua. Would you want to do it? You’ve got to be mad to even spar with him, let alone fight him.
“(Last time) we tried to get the sparring in, we struggled a little bit, no excuses, but this time around the preparation has got to be spot on.” — Skysport.