Top Rank boss and Tyson Fury’s United States promoter Bob Arum is amazed a second fight between Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua will happen so soon.
Arum watched on in disbelief as Joshua was dropped four times by Ruiz at Madison Square Garden last week. In the process, Joshua dropped four versions of the heavyweight crown.
An immediate rematch clause was activated within days of the fight by Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn.
Hall of Famer Arum is scratching his head as to why Hearn would want the return so soon.
“Anthony Joshua wasn’t prepared to fight, I don’t think – I don’t know but it seems he wasn’t prepared,” Arum exclusively told World Boxing News.
“I’m sure he underestimated Andy, but still. You train for the fight and he didn’t have any gas left.
“Something was wrong, something was wrong with him.”
On Hearn’s decision, Arum added: “I don’t think going for an immediate rematch makes any sense at all.
“What it takes now is really serious boxing people building him up again.
“Not rush him into an immediate rematch with Ruiz where the same thing may happen, before you’re able to rehabilitate the guy.”
In previous comments to WBN on Wednesday, Arum had questioned where Joshua’s head was at.
“I’ve seen Anthony Joshua fight before, and it looked like there was a different guy in the ring,” he pointed out.
“I mean I don’t know whether he didn’t train hard for the fight. I can’t figure it out.
“Nobody knows Andy Ruiz better than us. Apart from the Joshua fight and the one before, we promoted every one of his fights.
“He’s a gutty guy and he’s got fast hands, but he’s still ponderous on his feet and he doesn’t punch hard. So, I don’t know what the f** was I watching.
“I mean, I just can’t figure it out. I really can’t figure it out.
Asked about his demeanor, he replied: “Yeah, something was wrong. Something I can’t figure out. I mean unless he was caught off guard.
“You switch opponents on a guy. First, he’s fighting this big heavy guy in (Jarrell) Miller. (Then) he’s not fighting Miller, he’s fighting Andy Ruiz – who is barely a top ten guy. So he probably took his foot off the gas.”
Joshua v Ruiz II has already begun negotiations for what is hoped will be a winter blockbuster on UK soil.
Despite Joshua stating he’d like the bout in England, Cardiff’s Principality Stadium in Wales seems more likely with the roof structure involved.
Ruiz wants a whopping $50 million to sign on the dotted line. But with a rematch clause activated, it’s far more likely to be in the lower region of seven figures for Mexico’s first ever top division ruler.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay