Anthony Joshua only defeated Andy Ruiz Jr. because the latter didn’t train and was in no shape to compete in Saudi Arabia.
That’s the view on the former heavyweight champion who surrendered his titles to the man he’d previously dispatched in New York.
Coming into the fight well overweight despite deceptive photographs depicting possible weight loss, Ruiz was a shell of the fighter who took AJ out via stoppage just six months earlier.
But reflecting on Joshua and his current plight as a former ruler following another loss, Ruiz says his initial win might have had a knock-on effect.
“I wouldn’t want to destroy anybody’s career at all. But I can see [Joshua] being gun shy and hesitating a little bit. I can see him getting hurt,” Ruiz told Brian Custer on The Last Stand Podcast.
“Maybe he’s a little scared of getting hurt because he doesn’t want the same thing happening. It’s normal for fighters. I think he needs to get his confidence back.”
Asked if he ruined Joshua’s career, Ruiz answered: “No, I wouldn’t say I ruined him.
“I wouldn’t want to ruin anybody’s career. He is hesitating. He’s thinking too much instead of going in there and being the dog.”
Joshua almost got knocked out again against Oleksandr Usyk in September. He faces a rematch next year. You’d be hard-pressed to find many who believe he can win it.
“He won the rematch against me because I didn’t do my part. That’s the only reason,” added Ruiz. “If I had stuck to the game plan and did the same thing that I did in the first fight, trust me, I would have beat him. But I had to learn the hard way.
“I had to get back on the ladder and get back on top. That’s exactly what I’m going to do.
“I just hope Anthony Joshua overcomes this and he becomes champion again so I can take those belts back.”
Ruiz looks set to battle Deontay Wilder in 2022, as first reported by World Boxing News.
PBC supremo Al Haymon wants to match the ex-world heavyweight champions on Pay Per View.
The views expressed in this article are opinions of Phil Jay.
Phil Jay – Editor of World Boxing News since 2010 with over one billion views. Follow WBN on Twitter @WorldBoxingNews.