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Anthony Joshua: Ruiz Loss "Highlighted Everything I'd Been Concerned About"

Anthony Joshua suffered the heavyweight shocker of the century when Andy Ruiz knocked him out last June.

Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) immediately saved face and regained his WBO, WBA, IBF and IBO titles in December during a rematch with Ruiz. The 30-year-old reflected on his whirlwind 2019 and admitted there were plenty of learnings to take away from his first professional defeat, saying that some of the flaws he showcased furthered the sentiments that were previously shared before the portly Ruiz knocked him out.

“There were certain things I was talking about perhaps two years ahead of that loss, and the defeat just showcased them,” Joshua told GQ Magazine. “I know people say crazy things like, ‘Oh, we were planning on that loss,’ but it really was a blessing in disguise. It highlighted everything I had been concerned about. After that it was simple: these are the changes I’ve been talking about, now you need to listen.”

joshua-andy-ruiz-fight (111)

Joshua said he changed everything after that first fight, including his fighting style and physique. While Ruiz walked into the fight 15 pounds heavier, Joshua stepped on the scales a lean 237 ½ pounds, which was considerably lighter than the 247 ¾ he weighed six months before the rematch.

Joshua also did not engage in a slugfest with Ruiz in the sequel, which proved to be the best blueprint he could move forward with to ensure he would regain his titles and force the critics to back off.

The British boxer simply outboxed the first ever Mexican heavyweight champion in boxing history and kept him at range with a slick jab in an efficient 12-round unanimous decision win. He used a strategy of size, feints and feetwork to control the center of the ring, sticking and moving as he pleased for his redemptive moment.

“Losing to Andy made me rethink and restructure. I took the positives out of it, but it wasn’t easy. My training camp was six weeks of pure hell,” said Joshua. “I had new team members, I had injuries I was trying to overcome. There were so many different issues. But we got there in the end through will, determination and intelligence.”

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist and member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011. He has written for the likes of the LA Times, Guardian, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Men’s Health and NFL.com. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com.

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by Shadoww702 on 09-08-2020

[QUOTE=CasperUK;20750575]The fat kid who waves the Mexican flag wherever he goes?[/QUOTE] Yup that fat guy had AJ scurred shtless.

Comment by Slimpack on 09-08-2020

[QUOTE=W1LL;20750008]Anthony Joshua was very negative in the second fight. Talked very disrespectfully about Tyson Fury always moving and running away, then AJ literally ran on the back foot all night against a much smaller, out-of-shape opponent. Reminded me of Audley…

Comment by Slimpack on 09-08-2020

AJ adjusted well for the second fight. Only few boxers can do that. Also, I respect him for not giving excuses for the first lose. I believe he still has a lot to learn about.

Comment by CasperUK on 09-08-2020

[QUOTE=Shadoww702;20749049]Ruiz. The guy who made Aj Quit. Then turned him into the Running Man in the rematch[/QUOTE] The fat kid who waves the Mexican flag wherever he goes?

Comment by Jack Rivers on 09-08-2020

The 2nd fight in my opinion was a tale of two different fighters from the first. AJ adjusted, slimmed down and kept Ruiz at a distance. Ruiz being overweight couldn't walk AJ down like he did in the first fight.…

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