Anthony Joshua has blamed a “lucky punch” for his shock defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr.
Ruiz Jr, a late replacement for Jarrell Miller, stopped Joshua in seven rounds at Madison Square Garden in June to claim the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles. Joshua was knocked down four times in the bout.
Matchroom Boxing is working on finalising a deal that would see the rematch take place in Saudi Arabia on December 7.
Joshua was asked on AJ: The Untold Truth how he lost to Ruiz Jr.
“By a lucky punch. By a punch sent by the gods,” he said.
Ruiz Jr pressured Joshua from the opening bell but it was the Mexican-American who hit the canvas first in the third round before returning dropping Joshua twice in the same frame.
Joshua said that if the roles were reversed, he would’ve finished Ruiz Jr in the same round.
“I don’t know what concussion is, but for sure, after the fight I didn’t know what round [the fight was stopped],” Joshua said.
“So I’m just shocked it took Ruiz Jr another four rounds to get me out.
“Let me concuss Ruiz Jr – he won’t get back up.
“Ruiz Jr got hit by a flash knock-down – he was still raw, he wasn’t well-done, he wasn’t cooked yet. I should have left him a little bit longer. But the instinct in me was: ‘Boom!’
“I ended up getting caught with a left hook on the top of the head.
“He ain’t that skillful. He’s a good fighter.”
As for the rematch, Joshua said he needs to stick to the gameplan and box like he did in the early rounds of the contest.
“Do what I did in round three, but with more silky skill. And that was easy to put him down. So I need to be smarter, next time,” he said.
“I wasn’t boxing properly. Skipping around the ring like a marathon runner. Dancing around the ring.
“It was never the gameplan to have my arms low and be over my front foot.”