Anthony Joshua: 'I am punching like a horse kicking'

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Luke Bradshaw
·Sports Writer
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British heavyweight boxing challenger Anthony Joshua is pictured during a press conference in Diriyah in the Saudi capital Riyadh, on December 4, 2019, ahead of the upcoming "Clash on the Dunes". - The hotly-anticipated rematch between Ruiz Jr and British challenger Anthony Joshua is scheduled to take place in Diriya, near the Saudi capital on December 7. (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP) (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)
Anthony Joshua (Credit: Getty Images)

Anthony Joshua was in bullish mood at the press conference ahead of his hotly anticipated rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr.

The pair are set to fight on Saturday night in Saudi Arabia as the Brit aims to reclaim the IBF, WBA and WBO world titles that he lost to the Mexican fighter on June 1 at Madison Square Garden.

The 30-year-old said: "I am punching like a horse kicking backwards right now."

DIRIYAH, SAUDI ARABIA - DECEMBER 04: Eddie Hearn stands between Andy Ruiz Jr and Anthony Joshua during the Clash On The Dunes Press Conference at the Diriyah Season Hospitality Lounge on December 04, 2019 in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Andy Ruiz Jr and Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia. (Credit: Getty Images)

"I'm punching loose and heavy - rhythm and flow. 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.

The Watford man was also keen to stress that he will be coming into the fight significantly lighter than in previous bouts.

"I may be less than 17 stone," he told BBC Sport.

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Joshua weighed in at 17st 9lbs in the last fight, but his decision to reduce his weight appears part of a change in training to make up for the first professional defeat of his career.

LISTEN NOW: History of the Heavyweight Championship with Steve Bunce

The last time he fought at under 18st was five years ago; against Denis Bakhtov in his ninth pro fight.

Anthony Joshua (left) in action against Andy Ruiz Jr in the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO Heavyweight World Championships title fight at Madison Square Garden, New York. (Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images)
Anthony Joshua against Andy Ruiz Jr (Credit: Getty Images)

Boxing analyst Steve Bunce said the news of Joshua’s weight was surprising.

“I think it’s startling,” said Bunce. “Heavyweights like Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson that didn’t carry flesh, they don’t lose three pounds between fights, they normally increase slightly. They don’t drop weight.

“He’s suggesting he’ll drop 9lbs – nearly a stone lighter than the Klitschko fight.

“He’s moved away from strength and conditioning to pure boxing training.”

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