Heavyweight contender Anthony Joshua has brushed away the claims that he quit in the seventh round of his TKO defeat at the hands of Andy Ruiz, which took place back in June at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Joshua went down four times in the bout, with two of those knockdowns taking place in the seventh.
The referee waved it off, because he felt Joshua was not mentally ready to continue and he didn't like his physical mannerisms after rising from the fourth knockdown and walking to a corner.
Joshua explained that he was ready to continue fighting and was never asking for the fight to be stopped.
“Everyone is entitled to their opinion. They all have their views. The thing is, I was on my feet, I tried to walk out and the ref held my trousers. He waved the fight off. It wasn’t like I said, ‘Ref, I’ve had enough.’ I didn’t quit. But that’s why we are here so we can face off again on December 7th,” Joshua said.
The rematch takes place on Saturday night, in Saudi Arabia, with Joshua hoping to reclaim the WBO, IBF, IBO, WBA world titles.
Joshua looks slimmer for the second fight, but says his physical appearance was not the focus of training camp.
“I have been gym ready. I just feel good. I have to admit, I haven’t been focused on my weight. I have been focused on my boxing work," Joshua said.
“Your mind is the biggest muscle in the body. I just use that to my advantage. Positive self-talk is important. You have to really believe it in your heart, not just your mind.”
The British star also rejected rumors that he's been struggling in sparring and denied other whispers that he battered boxers in the gym and sent them home.
“I respect all my sparring partners who have helped get me ready physically. Some of them are here today, They all make me better and I respect that. I didn’t send any of them home," Joshua said.