Anthony Joshua has suffered the first defeat of his boxing career after being beaten by Andy Ruiz Jr in New York on Saturday night.
British star Joshua had been expected to make light work of Ruiz Jr, a late replacement for the bout following Jarrell Miller’s failed drugs test, and he looked on course to successfully defend his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles when he floored his opponent in the third round.
However, in trying to finish the fight there and then, Joshua was caught by Ruiz Jr and he was sent tumbling to the canvas for the first time since his victory over Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley in 2017.
After getting back to his feet, Joshua was then floored for a second time in the round and he was only saved on this occasion by the bell. The 29-year-old never fully recovered, however, and the fight was brought to an end when he was sent to the canvas twice more in round seven, with Ruiz Jr causing one of the biggest shocks in boxing history.
The defeat is a major setback in Joshua’s attempts to dominate a heavyweight division that also contains the likes of Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, but he was magnanimous in defeat, whilst also underlining his intentions to have a rematch with Ruiz Jr.
“I train hard, I stay dedicated and just got beat by a good fighter tonight,” Joshua told Sky Sports. “It will be interesting to see how far he goes, so good luck to him, but I’ve got to bounce back.
Asked about a rematch, Joshua responded: “I’ve got to get that solid armoury. This is the risk we take, but we’ll bounce back. “He’s the champ for now. Just put that in mind, he’s the champ for now. I shall return.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn also confirmed the are already in motion for a rematch, which is likely to take place at Wembley later this year. “AJ will be back 100 per cent,” Hearn said. “We’ll make the rematch in the UK, November, December, but tonight belongs to Andy Ruiz.”11 BUSINESS NUGGETS FROM SUPER EAGLES BRONZE MEDAL TRIUMPH. The content of this ebook will propel you above your competition. DOWNLOAD NOW!!!