Eddie Hearn played down Andy Ruiz Jr’s weight gain after the defending champion weighed in three stone heavier than Anthony Joshua for their rematch.
Joshua and Ruiz Jr weighed in on Friday in Saudi Arabia ahead of their highly-anticipated rematch on Saturday night.
Ruiz Jr was 15lbs heavier than the first fight, tipping the scales at a massive 282lbs (20st 3lbs) compared to Joshua’s 237lbs (16st 13lbs).
Joshua is the lightest he has been since 2014, while Ruiz Jr shocked onlookers by appearing to pile on the pounds, despite saying he intended to be eight pounds lighter for the rematch.
Hearn reacted to the numbers on the scales and insisted weight was not a deciding factor in the rematch.
‘Unbelievable. I’m so pumped,’ Hearn told IFLTV after the weigh-ins.
‘Ruiz 20st 3lbs… I’ve got a lot of respect for Ruiz because when I’ve eaten a lot I don’t want to take my top of either.
‘I’ve said I don’t think it matters about Ruiz’s weight. What is he ten pound heavier? AJ is ten or eleven pounds lighter.
‘He is fired up like a stallion ready to go for this fight. The way everyone looks on the scales, I don’t think it matters that much.
‘It’s a 50/50 fight and I believe AJ will knock him out inside eight rounds.’
Joshua certainly felt weight was a crucial factor in the first fight at Madison Square Garden, losing ten pounds and is cutting a far leaner fighter by shedding muscle.
Ruiz Jr is defending the WBA (Super), WBO and IBF titles he won from Joshua six months ago, but the former champion is the favourite again for the rematch.
Joshua tweeted soon after the weigh-in, sending a message to Ruiz Jr by saying: ‘No fear in my heart. No fear in my eyes. No fear in my mind.’
MORE: David Haye on Joshua vs Ruiz II, Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte’s return
Betfair Exchange Odds: Ruiz v Joshua II
Anthony Joshua – 1/2
Andy Ruiz Jr – 11/5
Draw – 47/1
(Courtesy of Betfair Exchange)
MORE: Anthony Joshua weighs in three stone lighter than Andy Ruiz Jr for rematch