2 minute read
5 Jun 2019
12:49 pm

Joshua takes shock defeat on the chin


The 29-year-old British pugilist went down to one of the biggest upsets in the history of the heavyweight division.

Andy Ruiz Jr punches Anthony Joshua after their IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight title fight at Madison Square Garden on June 01, 2019 in New York City. Al Bello/Getty Images/AFP

Anthony Joshua said on Wednesday there is no one to blame but himself for the shock loss of his heavyweight boxing titles to Andy Ruiz Jr last Saturday.

The 29-year-old British pugilist went down to one of the biggest upsets in the history of the heavyweight division at Madison Square Garden with Ruiz sensationally stopping Joshua, the previously unbeaten WBA, IBF, and WBO heavyweight champion.

The 29-year-old Ruiz started the fight as a massive 32-1 underdog but floored Joshua four times on his way to a win which upended the heavyweight division.

Joshua, whose camp activated a rematch clause on Tuesday, moved on Wednesday to dispel rumours something had been wrong with him as many pundits had wondered about his listless performance.

“I had no panic attack,” he said in video posted online.

“I have to take my loss like a man. No blaming anyone or anything.”

Joshua, who first came to public attention in winning Olympic gold in London in 2012, has refused to cut ties with trainer Rob McCracken and accepted the blame lay with him.

“I am the one who went in there to perform and my performance did not go to plan. My gameplan didn’t go to plan,” said Joshua.

“I have to readjust, analyse, do my best to correct it — and get the job done in the rematch.”

Joshua, whose promoter Eddie Hearn initially said he felt his fighter would never recover from the defeat to his Mexican-American opponent, said unlike others he was not searching for excuses as to why he under-performed.

“There have been a lot of accusations and worries about what was wrong with me,” he said.

“I want to tell you this: I am a soldier and I have to take my ups and my downs — and on Saturday I took a loss.

“Congratulations to Andy Ruiz. He has six months or so to be champion because the belts go in the air and he has to defend them.

“I would not mind if (the rematch) was in New York again or in England.”

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