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Boxing champion and self-proclaimed “little fat boy” Andy Ruiz Jr. looks drastically different from when he knocked out Anthony Joshua earlier this year. Michael Hunter II just shared a photo from a sparring session with Ruiz, who is currently training for his rematch with Joshua in December, and the Mexican fighter is visibly slimmer.
Ruiz has undergone a considerable transformation in the months since his big win, and he is on track to have a very different weigh in come December. He was 268 pounds prior to his first match with Joshua; this time around, he aims to be at least 14 pounds lighter.
Ruiz became the first Mexican Heavyweight Champion of the World in June when he defeated Joshua, knocking him out for the first time in his professional career and relieving him of his WBA, WBO, and IBF world titles. The outcome of the match came as a surprise to many, not just because Joshua had never been dropped like that before, but because Ruiz presented such a different vision of what a professional athlete can look like. Joshua might be leaner with more visibly rippling muscles, but Ruiz’s strength and ability aren’t to be underestimated.
“Ruiz is the champ for a reason: His skills are perfect for his sport,” says Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel. “The big guy knows how to throw a punch and take a punch. And boxing is about the art of punching and absorbing punches. Nobody’s ever won a pro sports title for being a size-29 waist.”
How this weight loss will affect Ruiz’s performance remains to be seen. It might make him quicker on his feet, but will he be able to pack the same punching power? All will be revealed on December 7.