APPROXIMATELY two hours after being stunned by Andy Ruiz, Anthony Joshua – nursing swelling over his left eye – addressed the media and refused to blame anyone but himself for one of the biggest upsets in boxing history. After losing in seven rounds inside New York’s Madison Square Garden, Joshua is already focused on the return.
“I’m still focused, it’s a minor setback,” Joshua said. “I still have the same objectives to improve as a fighter. My mission is now to get those belts back ASAP. It could happen here in New York, it could happen in the UK, but there will be a rematch.
“I’ve got no excuses, I have to take it on the chin. Losing isn’t what we like, but losing is what we learn from. Wherever it happens, it’s a boxing ring and I am now focused on revenge.”
Joshua was dropped four times in total, twice during a titanic third and twice again in the definitive seventh. After the last knockdown he refused to obey referee Mike Griffin’s instructions, staying in the corner, not walking forward nor bringing his gloves up. Joshua briefly objected to the stoppage at the time but he no longer felt it was an unjust ending.
“I will not blame the referee, I will not blame anyone else. If I wanted to carry on I should have made it clear I wanted to carry on, I should have let him touch my gloves.”
Joshua will go straight into the return, dismissing suggestions that he may seek a warm-up bout before taking on Ruiz again.
“A warm up fight? What’s a warm up fight. No way am I going to fight before Ruiz.
“This loss has settled in. I’ve got to correct it, adjust, focus and go again.
“It’s like snakes and ladders but I’m not going to lie to people, winning is everything. This war now, there is now the next battle and it’s on to the next one. I must show what I have learned from this.
“I still have the hunger, not just for boxing but for life. I will come back from this. There’a lot more from me to come, so stay tuned.”