By Mark Elezaj
New York- Anthony Joshua (22-1, 21 KO’s) made his long awaited American debut Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, and lost his WBA, IBF, IBO and WBO belts via seventh round TKO to challenger, and underdog, Andy Ruiz Jr. (33-1, 22 KO’s).
Joshua did drop Ruiz in the third round, but Ruiz was able to get back up and turn the tables on Joshua, dropping him four times before the referee waved off the fight.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn said,
“AJ got sloppy. He got caught and never recovered.
“AJ will be back, we’ll make the rematch in the UK in November or December.”
“We didn’t know what was coming next, in November, December, now we do,
“But there’s a lot of pressure on that fight; the rematch is huge.
“For me, it should be the UK, but we’ll sit down as a team and look at everything.
“I know it didn’t go our way but we said we wanted to create a night that people would remember for a long time; unfortunately they’ll remember it for a shock defeat and an incredible night of boxing.
“But that’s okay; revenge will be sweet and I believe he’ll get it.”
When asked if he underestimated Ruiz, Joshua responded,
“I don’t underestimate anyone,
“He’s a decent puncher, decent fighter. It’s his chance, isn’t it? And I always say like, anyone that comes to box me boxes 15, 20 percent better than what we’ve seen. It’s funny because, as a fighter, as I said, I don’t overlook anyone. But it’s easy to overlook someone because of their shape or their record or whatnot. But these guys are coming to win, and he was the better man tonight. He done his job.”
Joshua then stated that he will exercise his rematch clause against Ruiz Jr.
“I’ve got to get that armoury. This is the risk you take, we’ll bounce back, every fighter deserves respect.
“I respect every fighter, once you’re in there it is guts and glory, this is all part of the legacy and glory. It’s how strong I come back. He is the champ for now but I shall return.”
“Boxing is a tough sport,” Joshua said. “I train hard, I stay dedicated and I just got beat by a good fighter, it will be interesting to see how far he can go.
“I have to bounce back. This is all part of the story and journey.”
“When your legs are all over the place you try to stabilise your mind and body. They can’t box with me so they go for big shots. But congrats to the first ever Mexican heavyweight champion. My team put together a strong team but we’ll bounce back.”
~ The Fighting Voice ~