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Anthony Joshua says lack of focus, New York crowd cost him victory against Andy Ruiz Jr

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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Anthony Joshua has cited a lack of focus and the New York crowd as the key reasons he lost his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles to Andy Ruiz Jr in June.

Joshua was decked four times en route to a shock seventh-round stoppage loss at Madison Square Garden.

Joshua and Ruiz Jr are expected to fight a rematch in either November or December at a venue to be determined.

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“This fight, in terms of what it meant, there was no real gain in it,” Joshua told JD Sport via their YouTube channel.

“So beating Ruiz, I could be sitting here now and it wouldn’t have meant as much to me as it is to train for the rematch.

“Everything it meant to Ruiz winning, is everything it didn’t mean to me beating him.

“In the second round I heard the crowd booing, someone told me there was a fight going on in the arena, that’s why. But [my] debut in New York – crowd’s booing.

“The week before, [Deontay] Wilder had knocked [Dominic] Breazeale out in the first round and I’m fighting two weeks after, so [I thought] ‘let’s go and handle business’, I don’t want to let the people down.”

Joshua revealed his mind was on a four-belt unification fight with WBC champion Wilder when he stepped into the ring with Ruiz Jr, who took the fight on just six weeks’ notice after Jarrell Miller was forced to withdraw from the bout after failing a series of drug tests.

“With this fight here, I feel like where I’ve been fighting for so many years, when I came into the boxing arena, it was like I was steamrolling through,” he added.

“Joshua’s going to fight, yeah, boom, knock them out, so from walking into a gym, to three years later competing in the Olympics, from turning professional to three years later becoming world champion, it seemed like this was already written in the stars.

“But I think behind the scenes, the efforts, the education, the mind training that it takes to develop these skills and capabilities to be in that position are tiring.

“When it looks easy, they never truly respect what it is you are trying to achieve.

“My purpose for that fight was, ‘am I fighting Wilder next?’ The purpose for that fight was, ‘what is he doing next?’, it wasn’t solely on winning that fight.”

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