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Saudi Arabia: Boxers Joshua and Ruiz stun pundits with dramatic weight changes

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Mexican-American heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. and British title contender Anthony Joshua weighed-in ahead of their highly anticipated rematch in the Saudi capital of Riyadh on Friday.

Joshua came in a whopping 10lbs (4.5kg) lighter than before at 16st 13lb (107kg), while Ruiz topped the scales at 20 stone (127kg) after piling on a stone (6.5kg) in weight.

Joshua’s weight loss may reflect a yearning to be lighter and faster on his feet but it marks a huge risk, being the lightest he has weighed-in for five years.

Ruiz piling on the pounds also highlights the different approach the two fighters have taken and has led many to question whether the celebrations and fame which followed his stunning win last time out have affected his training camp.

The rematch, titled ‘Clash on the Dunes’, will be the first heavyweight world title fight ever held in the Middle East and is set to take place at a custom-built 15,000-capacity arena on Saturday night.

Promoter Eddie Hearn defended the decision to host the clash in Saudi Arabia, saying that moving it outside of boxing’s typical venues could lead to ‘a big change in the dynamics of the sport.’

Ruiz stunned the sporting world with his against-all-odds knockout of the Briton in New York City’s Madison Square Garden back in June.

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