Published On: Sun, Apr 5th, 2020

Anthony Joshua opens up on ‘difficult time’ after devastating Andy Ruiz Jr loss | Boxing | Sport

Anthony Joshua Andy Ruiz Jr

Anthony Joshua tries to regain his his bearings after being dropped by Andy Ruiz Jr (Image: GETTY)

Anthony Joshua admits the months after his loss to Andy Ruiz Jr were the most “difficult” of his career. The unified heavyweight champion locked horns with the Mexican last June in his American debut, which took place at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Ruiz Jr was drafted in on five weeks’ notice following a trio of failed drugs test from Jarrell Miller, who tested positive for HGH, EPO and GW-501516.

The Mexican’s chances of dethroning Joshua were written off by many, although he ended up having the last laugh as he produced a career-best performance to score a seventh-round TKO victory.

Joshua was dropped four times by the stout Ruiz Jr before referee Mike Griffin called a halt to proceedings, which sparked an onslaught of trolling.

‘AJ’ avenged his first professional loss last December in Saudi Arabia, putting on a boxing clinic to regain the unified heavyweight throne with a unanimous decision victory.

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Anthony Joshua Ruiz

Andy Ruiz Jr dropped Anthony Joshua four times on his way to a seventh-round TKO victory (Image: GETTY)

It was a difficult time in my career. Last year was a real tough year.

Anthony Joshua on his loss to Andy Ruiz Jr

Joshua kept a low profile in the build-up to his second encounter with ‘The Destroyer’, a period of time he admits was a challenging one.

“It was a difficult time in my career,” he told Sky Sports. “Last year was a real tough year.

“As a British heavyweight fighter, we never get the respect from the world media, which is governed by America to a certain degree, because we’re British.

“Americans are going to take care of Americans. So when I lost… you take challenges, the goal is to win 100 per cent.”


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Joshua, 30, was scheduled to defend his unified titles against Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev on June 20 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

His long-awaited homecoming, however, has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, which has wreaked havoc with the sporting calendar.

The Olympian’s showdown with Pulev, whom he was originally meant to fight in October 2017, is tentatively slated for July 25 – although it could end up taking place well after that date.

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn is aware the COVID-19 outbreak could lead to the bout between postponed until after July and is in the process of drawing up further contingency plans.

Anthony Joshua

Anthony Joshua regained the unified heavyweight titles last December in Saudi Arabia (Image: GETTY)

“We have looked at alternative dates for everything without knowing anything concrete,” he said during an appearance on talkSPORT.

“We have ongoing conversations with Tottenham to say that if the Premier League extends and does get played in June then we’ll be pushed back.

“We do have a date of July 25 held at Spurs as well, which is more realistic. It is five weeks after June 20.

“But we haven’t gone on sale with that, we haven’t made an official announcement in terms of seat details and on-sale dates, so we have got less pressure on that.

“There is more pressure for Anthony to fight twice this year.

“I know there is a bigger picture going on but everybody in sport, eveybody in business right now, needs to be working on a solution.

“The outcome, what happens when we get through this because it is going to be a horrifically messy time for all businesses, all sports, everything, when we do come out the other side.

“The world won’t be the same again and, in a lot of cases, we will have to start from scratch.”

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