By Charles Brun: Anthony Joshua sounding in denial about his previous loss to Andy Ruiz Jr., says he’ll beat him nine times out of ten, and that he must get his titles back. Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) and Ruiz still don’t have a fight date or venue for their much anticipated rematch, but an announcement is expected soon.
Joshua, 29, sat down with JD Sports to dissect his seventh round knockout loss to Ruiz Jr. (33-1, 22 KOs), and try explain what happened. Sounding confused at times, Joshua mumbled his way through the interview, talking as if he had no clue what happened. The one theme that was constant throughout the interview was Joshua’s resistance in admitting he lost to the better fighter.
Joshua obsessed with winning back his titles
“I Need To Get These Titles Back,” said Joshua to JD Sports. “If you put me and Ruiz in a machine, nine times out of ten I should beat him. That was just his night. He got the win and we get to do it again at the end of the year.”
AJ wants his lost IBF, WBA, and WBO heavyweight titles that Ruiz won in stopping him in the seventh round last June. Joshua says he’s been working on his flaws that he observed from his loss, and he believes he’s going to come into the rematch 100% improved. What’s interesting is Joshua has refused to change out his trainer Rob McCracken in favor of a new coach that work on his defects. McCracken has had six years to improve Joshua’s cardio, mobility and chin, and he’s not done enough.
Ruiz has a big advantage over Joshua in terms of amateur experience, and that showed last June. Although Joshua won a gold medal in the 2012 Olympics, he only had 51 amateur fights with a 48-3 record. In contrast, Ruiz Jr. had twice as many amateur fights in finishing with a 105-5 record. The difference in amateur experience is huge between the two fighters.
Ruiz has Joshua’s number
Without a lot of improvement, Joshua may need to accept that the talented Mexican American Ruiz simply has his number. Ruiz is so well schooled as a fighter, and that starts from the experience he gained as an amateur. Unlike Joshua, Ruiz wasn’t rushed into the pro ranks before he was fully prepared to deal with the fighters he would meet up with at that level. Joshua still looks like the slow, hittable fighter he was during his amateur days. Ruiz’s better hand speed, combination punching, chin and stamina are things that he’ll bring to the table for the rematch with Joshua. Those are advantages that will still be there.
Joshua showed that he can hurt Ruiz
A positive that came out of the Joshua-Ruiz fight for AJ is he showed that he could hurt Ruiz. Joshua knocked Ruiz down in the third, but he failed to capitalize on that.