By Mark Eisner: Anthony Joshua said he should follow in the footsteps of other heavyweight champions if he beats Andy Ruiz Jr., and fight guys from the pub. When asked if Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) was talking about lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, and he said, “yeah.”
Fury recently defended his lineal heavyweight title against Tom Schwarz, who Boxing fans didn’t rate highly, Now that Fury has beaten Schwarz, he’s fighting a similar fighter in Otto Wallin on February 14. Fury isn’t taking risks with his career the way that Joshua is. Joshua is showing great bravery in risking career in challenging IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. (33-1, 22 KOs) in a rematch on December 7 in SAudi Arabia.
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If Joshua loses that fight, he’s going to be on his way down. A victory for Joshua will vault him right back to where he wa before his 7th round knockout loss to the unheralded Ruiz Jr. earlier this summer on June 1.
Joshua: I’ll fight some guy from a pub after I beat Ruiz
“No, I’m going to fight some guy from the pub. That’s what the heavyweight division does, isn’t it?” said Joshua when asked if he’ll give Ruiz a trilogy fight if he beats him on December 7th. “Why am I going to fight all these solid contenders? I’m going to fight an easy fight after that. Yeah,” said Joshua when asked if that’s a knock on Tyson Fury, and his next opponent Otto Wallin. “You’ve got to read between the lines, man.”
Joshua’s critics might say that his promoter Eddie Hearn saw Ruiz Jr. as a guy from the pub, and that’s why he signed him. But there’s no chance of that, because the knowledgeable Boxing people like Hearn realized that Ruiz should have been undefeated going into his fight with Joshua.
Ruiz’s only loss was a controversial 12 round majority decision to Joseph Parker in December 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand. That was Parker’s backyard, and he was given a win that most Boxing fans saw as a gift. Ruiz Jr out-boxed, and out-worked Parker the entire fight. The problem Hearn has is the majority of the casual Boxing fans never see the Parker vs. Ruiz fight. If they had, they would have known that Ruiz easily beat him, and he was a major threat to Joshua.
Joshua says he’d fight Jarrell Miller
“Yeah, I’d do it,” said Joshua when asked if he’d fight Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller. “He had a great opportunity. It may have been his time. You’ve got to keep yourself clean, and do the right thing in this sport. I would fight him again, but would it even be worth my time? That’s the question,” said Joshua.
That’s admirable that Joshua is still willing to fight Jarrell Miller despite the fact that he tested positive for banned substances, and was pulled from their fight. Where Joshua says, ‘would it even be worth my time” suggests that he’s not going to fight him. The only way Joshua fights Miller is if he wins back his three titles, and Miller becomes his mandatory.
In theory, it’s not impossible for Miller to work his way back to a #1 spot in the rankings with one or more sanctioning bodies. But as of right now, Miller isn’t ranked in the top 15 by any of the 4 ranking bodies. It could take Miller years before he gets ranked at #1. In the meantime, Joshua will be involved in a lot of interesting fights. He may never ever give Miller a second chance.
AJ admits that he did everything wrong in Ruiz fight
“The style was wrong,” said Joshua about his fight with Ruiz. “What was I doing? Taking myself out of my body, I did everything wrong. People say, ‘Change trainers.’ I’ve got the best man besides me that’s going to take me there, and take me all the way,” said Joshua about his trainer Rob McCracken. “It was me. I blame myself. I look myself in the mirror, and I blame myself. I’ll get it right. You ask me who I’m fighting next. I’ll fight who I want. Don’t tell me about now Wilder or Fury. Take it like you want, but that’s how I see what the heavyweight division is all about. A good fighter with good feet,” said Joshua about Oleksandr Usyk. “He’s fought heavyweights before at the WSB, the crossover from amateur and pro. It’s a hard game to stay on top of,” said Joshua.
Joshua is too hard on himself in saying that he fought the wrong fight against Ruiz. He did what trainers tell their fighters do to when they have an opponent hurt. Fighters are trained to go for the finish when they have a guy buzzed on the canvas. Joshua used his training, and tried to get Ruiz out of there. The biggest mistake Joshua made is letting Ruiz get too close to him when he was unloading on him after he got up. The other mistake is Joshua not motioning to the referee to put his mouthpiece back in after he was told to go to his corner in the 7th. This was after the second knockdown of the round. Joshua was waiting for the referee to put his mouthpiece back in, and the referee stopped it.
Joshua says the “killer instinct” is still there
“I could have told him, ‘just between me and you, I’m not ready for the rematch,” said Joshua. “We make the calls at the end of the day. We speak to the governors, and then we go from there. Rematch, roll. No, the killer instinct hasn’t left yet. It worked the first time to a certain degree. So I’m going to build on that to a certain point where I know there’s no coming back. Not at close quarters. See that one-two that landed. I’d landed three or four of those from the distance rather than try to land an uppercut, left hook again in close quarters.
The killer instinct has got to be there for Joshua, because if he’s mentally ready to finish Ruiz, he could get stopped himself.