British legend Barry McGuigan is the latest to speculate on whether there he believes there were any issues behind the scenes prior to Anthony Joshua’s shock defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr.
Many have pointed out to the body language of ‘AJ’ before the fight and his post-fight reaction to defeat, where he was seen to be smiling and hugging Ruiz after tasting a seventh-round TKO defeat.
However, the Cyclones promoter believes Joshua just got ‘careless’ on his American debut and used Lennox Lewis’ defeat at Wembley Arena in 1994 as potential motivation for Joshua.
“He got hit by a left hook because he got reckless. When he hurt Ruiz he went in there, he got careless, and that’s all it takes with these guys,” McGuigan told Love Sport Radio,
“That very first punch Ruiz hit him with behind the ear, damaged his equilibrium. He never really recovered from that.
“It took him about a round and a half to get back into it again. But as soon as he got into punching range he got nailed again. I don’t think he ever really recovered.
“I’ll never forget the night at Wembley Arena when Lewis got stopped in the second round. His brother was saying the stoppage was early but I said he did him a favour.
“He prevented psychological damage. The referee did the same thing on Saturday night with Joshua. Lewis came back and knocked out McCall a number of years later.
“Joshua just needs to make the changes necessary. He’s a phenomenal athlete and he’s 29. It’s not like he’s an old man.
“It’s happened so many times before it shouldn’t be surprising, but it is exciting. Now it’s all about his journey to redemption.”
There have been calls by some, that if Joshua is to bounce back and reach the pinnacle of the heavyweight division again by beating Ruiz in the rematch, then he subsequently needs to make changes to his team.
However, McGuigan, who currently manages and promotes Britain’s newest world champion Josh Taylor, reckons Joshua just needs to get back to basics.
“He’s a big publicity team around him, all his team think the world of him and will think they’re doing the right thing. He is very marketable, handsome, loveable and has a great physique, so he has it all.
“Sometimes you can get lost in all that and forget the thing you do best that creates all that and which is the most important thing.
“I’m not suggesting that is the case but what I am saying is he’s got a lot of things to get right. He’s still a young man, he’s got great career ahead of him.
“It’s great that he has all this opposition out here and the UK has three of the best heavyweights in the world at the moment which is an unusual scenario.
“He’s just got to get it right, get those things that need to be worked on ironed out, have a nice rest and get straight back to it again. He’s got things he needs to work on technically.”
Take in the full interview with Barry McGuigan on Love Sport Radio here