Two months have passed since Anthony Joshua was defeated by the Mexican-American underdog Andy Ruiz Jr in New York, and with a rematch scheduled for December 7, the British boxer has taken action.
In the build-up to AJ’s shock defeat back in June, the 6’6″ fighter weighed in at a whopping 247.8 pounds.
It was clear that he had prepared for the fight by bulking up his frame, in the hope of matching pound-for-pound the weighty physique boasted by Ruiz Jr.
But Joshua might just have learnt from the mistakes that cost him his previous fight, along with his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles.
If his Snapchat is anything to go by, he seems to have cut a considerable amount of muscle off his physique, as he prepares for his highly-anticipated second encounter with Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia.
His leaner frame suggests a complete change in approach. Instead of trying to overpower his opponent, who has a formidable reputation as one of the strongest heavyweights fighting today, it seems that Joshua will rely more on his agility and reflexes to defeat Ruiz at the second time of asking.
This change hasn’t gone unnoticed by boxing analysts or fans – many of whom shared concerns that by triggering his rematch clause with Ruiz, he had not given himself enough time to rebuild for the forthcoming fight, where he will attempt to win his titles back.
As they always do, fans took to Twitter to express their views on Joshua’s big change. And they seem to have reached a verdict: Joshua looks much more like a boxer than he did previously, when his figure resembled that of a wannabe bodybuilder.
It remains to be seen whether this new alteration in his physique, and the change in approach it suggests, will pay off for Joshua when he faces Ruiz for the heavyweight title fight in December.