‘I wouldn’t mind if rematch holds in New York or in England’
Anthony Joshua said yesterday there was no one to blame but himself for the shock loss of his heavyweight boxing titles to Andy Ruiz Jr last Saturday.The 29-year-old British pugilist went down to one of the biggest upsets in the history of the heavyweight division at Madison Square Garden with Ruiz sensationally stopping Joshua, the previously unbeaten WBA, IBF, and WBO heavyweight champion.
The 29-year-old Ruiz started the fight as a massive 32-1 underdog but floored Joshua four times on his way to a win, which upended the heavyweight division.Joshua, whose camp activated a rematch clause on Tuesday, moved yesterday to dispel rumours something had been wrong with him as many pundits had wondered about his listless performance.
“I had no panic attack,” he said in video posted online.”I have to take my loss like a man. No blaming anyone or anything.”
Joshua, who first came to public attention in winning Olympic gold in London in 2012, has refused to cut ties with trainer Rob McCracken and accepted the blame lay with him.
“I am the one who went in there to perform and my performance did not go to plan. My game plan didn’t go to plan,” said Joshua.”I have to readjust, analyse, do my best to correct it — and get the job done in the rematch.”
Joshua, whose promoter Eddie Hearn initially said he felt his fighter would never recover from the defeat to his Mexican-American opponent, said unlike others he was not searching for excuses as to why he under-performed.
“There have been a lot of accusations and worries about what was wrong with me,” he said.”I want to tell you this: I am a soldier and I have to take my ups and my downs — and on Saturday I took a loss.”Congratulations to Andy Ruiz. He has six months or so to be champion because the belts go in the air and he has to defend them.I would not mind if (the rematch) was in New York again or in England.”