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Virgil Hunter calls Andy Ruiz Jr ‘the perfect heavyweight’

The trainer breaks down this weekend’s heavyweight rematch.

Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

With Andy Ruiz set to defend his belts against Anthony Joshua this weekend, trainer Virgil Hunter shares some of his thoughts on the heavyweight rematch as well as how he thinks Ruiz might match up against Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury. Check it out...

Hunter on how he breaks down Ruiz-Joshua 2:

“If Joshua doesn’t make the right adjustments, if they don’t have the right game plan, I can see the same thing happen again. The way that fight went down, Ruiz is bad for Joshua from A to Z. And somewhere between N, O, P, Q, R, Joshua is gonna have to have some answers.

“See, his game plan should be in place right now. He should have the right people in camp, he should have a lot of situational sparring. There’s a lot of things that happened in that fight that I don’t think one camp can correct. And if Ruiz is in shape, if he’s motivated — Ruiz is a bad boy, man. And to me he’s the perfect heavyweight: 6’1”, 6’2”, hand speed, volume puncher. His style is not good for Joshua.

“I think Joshua is gonna have to find a way to keep him at the end of the punch and hurt him early to make him respect him, and be ready for those assaults. He’s gonna have to be ready.

“So right now I can see it playing out the same way if Joshua doesn’t change a lot of things in training camp.”

On if Ruiz wins again, how he thinks he matches up against Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury:

“Again, if you can keep Andy at the end of the punch, keep him guessing, hurt him early — he’s gonna be in any fight he’s in. You just not gonna be able to walk over Andy Ruiz, you gonna have to prove it to him. He’s not an easy guy to fight because of his skill level, he has a great skill level. And if he understands how to fight Wilder, can get to Wilder early, he can cause him problems.

“But of course in the back of your mind you always say that ‘when is this eraser gonna come?’ so that can change a lot of things in a fighter’s mindset, knowing that when you get in the ring that this guy can put my lights out with one shot, that always stays in the back of your mind.

“Tyson Fury, I mean, the verdict to me is still out on Tyson. I hear he has a lot of bad habits outside the ring and that can definitely take a toll on you. I think the Wallin fight was very interesting, I think he struggled with Wallin. I think he really struggled and I think he struggled before the cut even happened. I don’t know if he would’ve figured him out before the middle rounds, or before the cut came, but his body language to me wasn’t one of taking charge of the fight right away.

“And I think, as his dad said, he’s overtraining a lot, he has to train everyday to keep his mind in a state of sanity, and that can be hard on the body. Dad felt like he came in light, you have to listen to his dad. Even Ben Davison agreed with the dad and said that they came in light, that they have to find a way to slow him down. But I think, again, whether it’s true or not, his lifestyle out the ring is not conducive for a long career. But with his size, with his boxing ability, he’s a winner. You have to give him the edge in the fight.”

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