Anthony Joshua denies quitting, talks sparring and mental scars from loss
Andy Ruiz Jr and Anthony Joshua are closing in on their colossal Heavyweight World title rematch at the Diriyah Arena in Saudi Arabia.
The pair battle it out on Saturday December 7, shown live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the US for the unified heavyweight crown.
Ahead of the contest, Joshua has been forced to address reports of being hurt in sparring, plus the mental scars he possesses from losing to Ruiz back in June.
Ruiz dropped AJ four times on his way to a crushing and convincing win. It’s now up to Joshua to prove it was a fluke.
Speaking to media this week, Joshua denied accusations from Ruiz that he quit in the first meeting.
“Everyone is entitled to their opinion. They all have their views. The thing is, I was on my feet. I tried to walk out and the ref held my trousers,” pointed out Joshua. “He waved the fight off.
“It wasn’t like I said, ‘Ref, I’ve had enough.’ I didn’t quit. But that’s why we are here so we can face off again on December 7th.”
Addressing sparring rumors, Joshua added: “I respect all my sparring partners who have helped get me ready physically. Some of them are here today.
“They all make me better. I respect that. I didn’t send any of them home. Shout out to all of my sparring partners for preparing me.
“You are going to see fireworks on Saturday. This is an important fight and like I said, this fight isn’t going 12 rounds.”
Admitting Ruiz had gotten inside his head since inflicting a first loss in New York, Joshua is ready to squash his defeat demons in Diriyah.
“He’s been on my mind five weeks prior to June 1 because that’s when he came in as my replacement. He will be on my mind forever.
“If Andy Ruiz is dedicated to the game we will see each other a third time down the line as well. This won’t be the last time I see Andy Ruiz in the ring.”
The full main card features four heavyweight fights including the much-anticipated world championship main event.
Opening the card is Filip Hrgovic (9-0, 7 KOs) against Eric Molina (27-5, 19 KOs) followed by Dillian Whyte (26-1, 18 KOs) against Mariusz Wach (35-5, 19 KOs).
In the evening’s chief support bout, Alexander Povetkin (35-2, 24 KOs) will square off against Michael Hunter (18-1, 12 KOs).
Ruiz vs. Joshua 2 will be streamed exclusively on DAZN in the United States, in addition to being available globally on DAZN in Austria, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and Switzerland.
The full main card will begin on DAZN at 12 p.m. ET with the main event is expected to commence shortly after 3:30 p.m. ET.
Sky Sports Box Office take up broadcast rights in the UK.