World Boxing News can reveal Anthony Joshua was indeed knocked out in sparring after being informed of happenings from the event.
On the back of journalist Gareth A. Davies previously speculating on the situation in the aftermath, WBN is now able to clarify those reports.
Joshua was put down badly in a training session (fighter named here), which was evident in marks on the former world champion’s face.
Physically Joshua would have been fine for fight night, although mentally whether the Briton was all there is in question.
New ruler Andy Ruiz Jr. was able to capitalize on what were obvious frailties in the Joshua psyche. The 30 year-old was out of sorts and questioning feeling off and fatigued in the corner between rounds.
Not taking anything away from Ruiz, though. The Mexican-American may well have taken Joshua out anyway. But big doubts need to be addressed as to why Joshua was allowed to fight when clearly not at one hundred percent mental capacity.
Those around AJ may have some explaining to do in the future as doubts creep in as to whether Joshua will lace up the gloves again in 2019.
Reports Joshua is not ready to accept a rematch with Ruiz have already begun. Furthermore, the 2012 Olympian potentially may want some extended time off.
Promoter Eddie Hearn was even targeted for abuse by Joshua’s father inside the ring. Robert Joshua was spotted pointing and gesturing to Hearn as Ruiz spoke to DAZN reporters for his post-fight interview.
It’s understood by WBN that Robert wanted Anthony pulled from the contest after the incident in sparring.
"I cant believe I just made my dream come true, the sky is the limit!"
Andy Ruiz Jr becomes the first Mexican heavyweight champion of the world! ????????
— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) June 2, 2019
The fight continued as planned. It’s now evident all was not entirely well in the Joshua preparations.
A second fight with Ruiz is due to take place in November or December in the United Kingdom. Whether Joshua accepts the return is now a subject for debate.
With WBO and IBF mandatories set to be called in the near future, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Ruiz shares the ring with another competitor for his first defense of the titles.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay