ANTHONY JOSHUA revealed he would love to fight Andy Ruiz Jr again – because he wants to knock him out.
Joshua suffered a catastrophic first ever defeat in June 2019 as he was dropped four times and beaten in round seven against Ruiz.
But six months later, with his career on the line, AJ outboxed his rival over 12 rounds to win back the unified titles.
Joshua admits he toughened up mentally after the upset loss and would be equipped to close the show against Ruiz instead of winning on points.
He told BBC Sport: "I got straight back into training and I went back to learning.
"It wasn't training to get fit, it was more the mistakes I knew I was making, the mistakes my training team have identified and I went straight into the learning phase again.
"I learned about the mental aspect as well of the game, so I got tough and unfortunately it led to a performance where I had to stick and move.
"Because I didn't want to be labelled a 'quitter' or a 'loser' or someone that's not meant to be part of the heavyweight dynasty that we're in now.
I'd love to go back and fight Ruiz again, because rematch or no rematch, I'll knock him out.
"Yeah, I felt that pressure, but looking back, I'd love to go back and fight Ruiz again, because rematch or no rematch, I'll knock him out.
"Because, I've become tougher, more relentless over the last year.
"And that fight – going back on Saturday with Dubois and Joyce – showed me how relentless and how tough you have to be in this business."
Joshua, 31, was accused of giving up against Ruiz, also 31, on his disastrous US debut but bounced back to reclaim his heavyweight throne.
Former sparring partner Daniel Dubois will now have to find similar inspiration, as he was branded a 'quitter' following his loss to Joe Joyce.
That is despite suffering an orbital fracture in his left eye, which caused Dubois to take a knee and surrender to defeat.
In an exclusive interview with SunSport, Joshua offered his support to the 23-year-old prospect.
But while speaking to Mike Costello and Steve Bunce ahead of his next fight against Kubrat Pulev, AJ admits he would now rather 'go out on his shield' than face questions over his heart again.
He said: "There is that question of, 'I would have gone out on my shield. I would have done this, I would have done that'.
"And I realised, I would have to be in that position to know what would happen.
"But, what I have learned from that situation is the man I am right now, sitting here, I think I'd prefer to go out on my shield.
"Because of what I've learned, the industry I'm in, this is an industry of uncivilized people.
"This isn't just about knocking everyone over, relying on punch power, you have to rely on heart, good chin, work rate, skills, determination, willing to die."
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