George Foreman has urged Anthony Joshua to copy Muhammad Ali when he takes on Andy Ruiz Jr in their rematch on Saturday night in Saudi Arabia.
Joshua is seeking revenge over Ruiz Jr for his first pro defeat and is the favourite heading into the highly-anticipated heavyweight showdown.
Boxing legend Ali employed a strict game plan against Leon Spinks in their rematch in 1978 after his inexperienced rival sprung a surprise with a split decision victory.
Ali employed a cautious, point-scoring strategy in the second fight and Foreman thinks Joshua should reproduce that game plan against Ruiz Jr.
“In my mind, if Anthony Joshua looks at the tape of Ali-Spinks 2 and just goes to pat him round by round, he can recapture the title,’ Foreman told the Athletic. ‘Don’t go looking for a knockout, and you’ll be champion of the world.
“All he needs to do is box,’ Foreman continued. ‘One round, box. Second round, box. Each round…forget about anything else but that and you’ll be champion of the world again,” he said in an interview with Metro of Uk.
Joshua has given little away about his plans for Ruiz Jr, but the Mexican expects a completely different version of his rival on fight night. ‘If he wants to bang, it’s better for me. I love to bang because that’s the fighter that I am,’ Ruiz Jr said.
“We have to pressure, work the body, break him down. Especially his mentality. ‘We’ve got to see where he’s at because all the pressure is on him. ‘The pressure isn’t on me because I followed my dream, made my dreams come true. Of course I want more though – I want the legacy of Andy Ruiz
“People haven’t seen me cut off the ring. I actually break them down even faster when they try to box me around.
“We all have a plan until we get hit, like Mike Tyson would say. I’m pretty sure he will want to box me around. ‘One punch can change the fight. That’s what happened on June 1. It might be a little harder than the first time. I’ve got to show my skills, my talent,” he explained.
Meanwhile Anthony Joshua, yesterday opened up on his gameplan to prise the world heavyweight titles back from the clutches of Ruiz Jr tomorrow.
The 30-year-old has opened up on his tactics for the fight, in order to nullify Ruiz’s power, and he even admitted asking his opponent for any tips on how to get the better of him.
‘For me, take centre. If I’m six inches in front of Ruiz, all takes for a man to miss a punch is six inches,’ he told reporters. ‘So sometimes you haven’t even got to be running around the ring.
‘I asked him upstairs, I said: “How do I beat you, then?” He says: “Mate, you should move around a little.”
Boxing is a sweet science of the sport. I’m 6ft 6in, so it would be wrong of me to sit in front of Ruiz and go toe-to-toe hooking.
‘I’ve got to box to my attributes which is range and movement. My style is not what a scared boxer would do, I think it’s what a smart fighter would do.’