By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – A day after stating during a conference call that Anthony Joshua wasn’t focused for his fight against Andy Ruiz Jr., Gennadiy Golovkin called Joshua’s performance “terrible.”
The former middleweight champion also noted that Joshua adhered to “different doping-test procedures” prior to his stunning, seventh-round, technical-knockout defeat to Ruiz. Golovkin didn’t accuse Joshua of using performance-enhancing drugs, nor did he elaborate on what he meant while explaining Wednesday what might have happened to the former heavyweight champion Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
England’s Joshua, who is subject to PED testing by UK Anti-Doping 365 days per year, made his debut in the United States when he faced Ruiz. Joshua and Ruiz, of Imperial, California, also underwent random blood and urine testing by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association before and after their heavyweight title fight.
Joshua’s original opponent, Jarrell Miller, tested positive for three PEDs, which afforded Ruiz the huge opportunity he exploited perfectly.
“You can look at various elements, various links, so to speak, in this chain,” Golovkin said, according to his translator, before a press conference for his own fight Saturday night at The Garden. “First of all, it was his first fight in the United States. It was his first fight at Madison Square Garden, first fight with different doping-test procedures. It will probably be a big lesson, an important lesson for Joshua to learn. And also, I know Andy Ruiz. I trained together with him. So, I’m not surprised about this outcome of this fight.”
The 6-feet-6, 245-pound Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) was as much as a 25-1 favorite over Ruiz (33-1, 22 KOs), according to some Internet sports books. That didn’t stop Ruiz from getting off the canvas in the third round to knock down Joshua four times – twice in the third round and twice in the seventh – before referee Michael Griffin stopped the action at 1:27 of the seventh round.
Golovkin watched boxing’s most significant upset in the 18 years since Hasim Rahman knocked out Lennox Lewis from a ringside seat Saturday night at The Garden.
“It’s difficult to say what exactly happened because I was not part of the Joshua team,” Golovkin said. “What I can say is he looked terrible in this last fight, Joshua did. … Looking [at it] impartially and objectively, Joshua was terrible. It was his terrible day. Ruiz was great. It was his great day. That’s how you can judge this.”
Kazakhstan’s Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs) also is a heavy favorite – 50-1, according to some odds-makers – over unbeaten, unknown Canadian contender Steve Rolls (19-0, 10 KOs). Their scheduled 12-round, 164-pound fight will headline a seven-bout show Saturday night at The Garden.
DAZN, which streamed the Ruiz-Joshua upset, also will stream the Golovkin-Rolls card.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.