MAKE no mistake about it that even if Anthony Joshua beats Andy Ruiz in style when they rematch on December 7, the loss to him last June has caused irreparable damage that can’t be erased in the encore. Until that loss Joshua might not have been the best heavyweight on the planet but he was certainly the most relevant. Simply put, Joshua was the MAN. Everything in the heavyweight division had revolved around him. Everyone from Tyson Fury to Deontay Wilder needed to do business with Joshua more than he needed to do it with them. But even a victory over Ruiz in Saudi Arabia, won’t put Joshua on the lofty perch he was before. For the first time he will find himself on equal footing with Wilder and Fury, no longer able to dictate the terms of a fight between them as before. This is not to say that if Joshua regains the throne that Eddie Hearn can’t display him in Wembley Stadium or another major venue against someone else beside the big two, but it would infuriate even his own fan base who won’t buy into the excuse that Fury and Wilder are ducking him. And if the two box next spring as indications are they will, the winner will have a stronger claim to being called the world heavyweight champion than does Joshua regardless of how good he might look against Ruiz.
One way or the other, if Joshua regains his titles he will have little choice but to meet Fury or Wilder some time in 2020. That much is obvious, but what becomes of Joshua if he should lose the rematch with Ruiz? We examine 10 options below:
JOSHUA WILL RETIRE: