Lennox Lewis has lashed Andy Ruiz Jr for admitting he didn’t prepare properly for his rematch with Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia last weekend.
In the first defence of his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles Ruiz Jr 33-2 (22) was comprehensively outclassed by Joshua 23-1 (21) who won all but two rounds on two of the judges’ scorecards, while the third judge gave him 11 rounds.
The 30-year-old Mexican-American, who was making the first defence of the world title belts he won from Joshua by seventh-round knockout in June, entered the fight a full 15-pounds heavier than their first bout at 283-pounds.
Former undisputed heavyweight champion Lewis was less than impressed by Ruiz Jr’s condition and his post-fight claims that he “ate everything” and his reasoning that “it could happen to anyone”.
“Just saw Andy Ruiz Jr. saying not being fully prepared and in shape for rematch could have happened to anyone. Not true. That’s a bad excuse,” said Lewis in comments published by World Boxing News.
“One person was serious about those belts and the other wasn’t. Simple as that!”
Lewis, who has been critical of Joshua in the past, defended his fellow Brit for what some claim was a safety-first performance.
“Every fight isn’t going to be a KO,” said Lewis. “I thought AJ fought a good tactical fight and didn’t fall into trap of trying to mix it up in exchanges.
“This was a good addition to his experience. He also wisely unpacked his jab for this one.
“I understand that ppl want blood. But, as a fighter, you have to be disciplined enough to wait for the opportunities to open up. Sometimes they don’t come.
“When that happens you play it safe and stick to the game plan.”
The 54-year-old, who retired in 2003 with a record of 41-2-1 (32), suggested Joshua would do well not to take criticism so personally in the future.
“I’ve ALWAYS spoken the truth. When I’ve praised AJ… it was the truth. When I’ve criticized him, it was also the truth,” he said.
“Seems that when we agree, it’s truth. When we don’t, I’m a bitter hater. You will never find peace this way. Grown men can agree to disagree.”
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