RIYADH – World heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. will be nearly 50 pounds heavier than Anthony Joshua for their title rematch on Saturday in Saudi Arabia.
Ruiz weighed in at 283 pounds (128 kilograms) on Friday — about 15½ pounds (7 kilograms) more than he was for the first fight in New York in June when he delivered one of the biggest heavyweight upsets in recent history.
“He’s a big boy, isn’t he?” Joshua said of Ruiz after the Briton weighed in at 237 pounds (107½ kilograms), ensuring he will fight at his lightest weight in five years as he tries to reclaim his WBO, WBA and IBF belts.
Ruiz, who wore a black tank-top to cover his portly frame, took to the scales to jeers in front of a mostly pro-Joshua crowd at a weigh-in that was staged on a grassy section outside a 5-star hotel in central Riyadh.
Ruiz was mocked for his flabby belly before the first fight yet showed great hand speed and surprising movement to knock down Joshua four times before it was stopped in the seventh round.
The Mexican's trainer, Manny Robles, had said that Ruiz was too heavy fighting at 268 pounds in New York and was only that weight because he fought at late notice. That Ruiz has come in even heavier five months later was surprising.
Joshua is more than 5 kilograms (11 pounds) lighter than when he lost the first fight. He said this week that he was looking to come in lighter for the rematch to give him more speed around the ring.
As Joshua squared up to the champion for the head-to-head, Ruiz had to lean back slightly to avoid hitting the Briton with his sombrero.