Andy Ruiz Jr hopes he didn’t ‘destroy’ Anthony Joshua’s career in 2019 heavyweight world title fight

Andy Ruiz stunned the world when he beat Anthony Joshua

Andy Ruiz Jr says he hopes he didn’t “destroy” Anthony Joshua’s career by beating the Briton in their world heavyweight title fight two years ago.

Ruiz stunned the world when he beat Joshua, having been drafting in to the fight only a few weeks earlier. Ruiz lost their rematch, after which he admitted he failed to adequately prepare for the bout, but inflicting Joshua’s first defeat was enough to bring down his air of invincibility.

Ruiz is now on the comeback trail having beaten American Chris Arreola by unanimous decision in May, and hopes for a trilogy bout with Joshua one day, while Joshua suffered a similarly underwhelming defeat by Oleksandr Usyk and is currently preparing for a rematch in the spring of 2022 as he tries to regain his belts.

Asked whether his win over Joshua had irrevocably changed the British boxer, Ruiz said: “I wouldn’t want to destroy anybody’s career at all, but I can see him being gunshy and hesitating a little bit, and I can see him getting hurt. Maybe he’s a little scared of getting hurt because he doesn’t want the same thing happening. It’s normal for fighters, and I think he needs to get his confidence back,” said Ruiz.

“No, I wouldn’t say I ruined him [Joshua]. I wouldn’t want to ruin nobody’s career, but I do agree with Timothy Bradley. He [Joshua] is gunshy. He is hesitating. He’s thinking too much instead of going in there and being the dog that you are.”

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Asked about their rematch, which Joshua won with relative ease in comparison to their first bout, Ruiz said: “He won the rematch against me because I didn’t do my part. That’s the only reason. If I had stuck to the game plan and did the same thing that I did in the first fight, trust me, I would have beat him. But I had to learn the hard way.

“I had to get back on the ladders and get back on top, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I just hope Anthony Joshua overcomes this and he becomes champion again so I can take those belts back.”

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