ANTHONY JOSHUA is busting a gut in the gym to flatten flabby Andy Ruiz Jr next Saturday.
The 18st California-based Mexican looks an underwhelming opponent compared to muscle-bound Adonis AJ.
But the 29-year-old unified heavyweight world champ has defended Ruiz’s unflattering frame and insisted the 32-1 fighter poses a serious test.
Joshua said: “It’s not about what you look like, it’s a craft, a skill and what’s in your heart and your head that matters in the end.
“Andy has shown he has all that, he can fight and box, that’s what matters. I think Andy is a great challenger and will bring it on June 1.
“All I’ve heard is ‘AJ will smash him in a round’. From the outside they think that anyone can box, so how is the guy that doesn’t look like a fighter able to box?
“I always say that if you put ten bodybuilders in the ring, not one of them could fight for a regional title in boxing.
“Take me out of my body but keep the same attributes; same height, same jab, same chin, same heart and same mind, but I looked different, I’d still get to the same position I am in because it’s what is within you that makes a champion”.
Ruiz Jr’s only defeat came at the hands of then WBO boss Joseph Parker in 2016, in his New Zealand home, and judges anywhere else in the world might have favoured the 29-year-old.
The Destroyer has used his fast hands to stop 21 of his opponents, including 6ft 7in giant Alexander Dimitrenko in April, and Josh believes he is in for a serious test.
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He said: “He’s keen, he’s game and you cannot knock him. He can fight and he’s got hands.
“He gave a world champion in Joseph Parker lots of problems.
“ Andy is championship level for sure and I have not underestimated him one bit.”