THE countdown is well and truly on to Anthony Joshua's rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr.
As well as the huge clash in the desert, there's plenty to look forward to in 2020 as Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder remain on a collision course after the Bronze Bomber's dramatic win over Luis Ortiz.
Meanwhile, Dillian Whyte will face Mariusz Wach on the Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz undercard.
And one of boxing's greats, Manny Pacquiao, will make his long-awaited return against either Shawn Porterm Danny Garcia or Mikey Garcia.
Follow all the gossip from the world of boxing below…
THE TRAINER who sensationally backed Andy Ruiz Jr to shock Anthony Joshua in their first fight believes the Brit will get his revenge second time around.
Joseph Parker's trainer Kevin Barry was in the minority who predicted the Mexican outsider would inflict Joshua's first defeat of his career in June.
Speaking to the BBC, he said: “Andy was on TV coming off the plane, an overweight, short guy. I spent two weeks trying to convince the public that this was a fight against one of the toughest, most battle-hardened fighters at heavyweight.
“You take the mask aside – and by mask I mean the extra weight – and you have a man who was a good amateur and a man I’ve watched chop down big guys time and again.
“I took Parker to fight Joshua in Cardiff in 2018, so I had a front-row insight into that too. Parker has told me the hardest he has ever been hit was by Ruiz. I kept thinking about that and Ruiz had just been written off. So I made my opinion known.”
He added: “Ruiz has the belts and everyone says once you become champion you’re ten per cent better and I think that is a fair statement.
“But I think Joshua will fight a totally different fight. When he had Ruiz down, all he had to do was take his time but he ran in with the wrong punches and put himself there to be hurt.
“This time we will see more poise. If he uses his skills and controls the pressure, I think Joshua wins the fight.”
ANTHONY JOSHUA is in Saudi Arabia as he prepares for his huge rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr this weekend.
What time is Joshua vs Ruiz 2?
- Antony Joshua and Andy Ruiz's rematch will start at 9pm GMT this Saturday, December 7 – that is midnight in Saudi Arabia.
- The ring walks for the main event have been confirmed by Sky Sports for 8.45pm.
- The Diriyah Arena in Diriyah hosts the heavyweight title bout.
How can I watch Joshua vs Ruiz 2?
- The huge heavyweight title fight and undercard will be shown live on Sky Sports Box Office.
- Sky Sports Box Office will begin their broadcast from 5pm GMT.
- The card will be available for a record price of £24.95, with the full undercard and main event shown.
- You can also live stream for the same price on your computer, mobile and tablet devices.
- Sky Sports Boxing Facebook and YouTube channels will be showing an hour of build-up – including Majidov vs Little – for FREE from 4pm.
ANTHONY JOSHUA handed himself a life sentence in the ring after the sport saved him from a lifetime behind bars.
The 30-year-old was a wayward teen involved in street fights and drug deals before his cousin convinced him to try boxing in November 2008.
In 2009 he was on remand in Reading prison after a fight and, even as late as 2011 he was arrested, while wearing a Team GB tracksuit, with 8oz of cannabis and given 100 hours of unpaid work and a 12-month community order.
Rehabilitated AJ has been a model inmate and repaid his debt to society and his country in spades and he believes that mentality will see him once again crowned king of the heavyweight division.
The Englishman said: “When I had that second chance at life, when I was getting in trouble, I dedicated myself to boxing. I said I would put myself on a 15-year prison sentence to boxing and have that focus. When it comes to boxing, I just focus.
“I could go on longer. It’s just a mindset, a prison mindset, like a military mindset, lock-down. Training, focus, sleep. You have to have that mindset. You have to be in that regiment.”
“So when I went into boxing, I was getting into a lot of trouble, a major court case, I beat the court case, and I prayed ‘God, if you give me a second chance at life I will make all the changes in the world’.
“When I beat that court case, I got into boxing and I focused. Same thing with Ruiz, give me a second chance and see what I can do.”
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