Evander Holyfield has advised Anthony Joshua to choose the appropriate sparring partners in an attempt to replicate what he will face from Andy Ruiz Jr in their rematch next month.
Joshua is aiming to win back his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles when he faces Ruiz in Saudi Arabia on December 7, having suffered one of the biggest shocks in boxing history in June.
The Brit has warned Ruiz that he will only remain champion until they meet in the Middle East, while he’s also been backed by former opponent Wladimir Klitschko to succeed.
Holyfield, who once reigned as the undisputed cruiserweight and heavyweight king, has told AJ he must be better prepared second time around.
“Of course he knows he has got to make some adjustments,” Holyfield told iFL TV. “Me personally, I kind of thought that Ruiz kept cornering him off, so what has he got to do?
“He has got to get somebody who is going to put the pressure on him like that.
“When you are the champ you have got to get a sparring partner that will put pressure on you.
“There is no point in getting a sparring partner who looks at you and knows they haven’t got a chance of being you.”
Holyfield had many rematches in his 27-year career against the likes of Riddick Bowe, Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis.
“You got to have a guy that for three rounds is going to try to whoop ya, and then you gotta have another guy who is trying to do the same,” Holyfield added.
“I had a lot of different sparring partners and I paid them good to try and beat me, and this is the only way you are going to be prepared for the fight.”
Sitting ringside, The Real Deal watched his son, Evan Holyfield, win his first professional fight with a 16-second first-round knockout on Saturday.
On the undercard of Canelo Alvarez vs Sergey Kovalev in Las Vegas, the 22-year-old, looking understandably nervous, put Nick Winstead away with a series of unorthodox shots.