Anthony Joshua: ‘I had to go away and change’

Boxing champion reveals: 'You learn to make the best of a bad situation'

GOOD TO TALK: Anthony Joshua Photos: Club Wembley

TWO TIME unified heavyweight world boxing champion Anthony Joshua appeared at a Club Wembley members event last night where he was interviewed by former cruiserweight world champion and Sky Sports presenter, Johnny Nelson.

Anthony Joshua, was appearing at a Club Wembley members event in London, and during the wide-ranging Q&A, Joshua discussed several topics…

On if he took Ruiz too lightly first time around:

My uncle wrote out a list of heavyweights when I turned pro and Andy Ruiz got listed as the ‘Upset King’. We thought he was underrated and undervalued but had a lot of skills and could cause an upset. I could tell you a million things but I lost, that is the situation. What I had to do was go away and look at what I needed to change.

On the criticism he encountered after the first fight with Ruiz:

If you take all the praise you can’t expect everyone to be quiet when you don’t perform. Criticism gives you a chance to perfect yourself. If everyone is telling you you’re great and two people tell you need to improve – I would rather listen to those two people. The critics will always pick out the minor flaws and the finer details, which is good because you need those people to perfect yourself so I always view criticism positively. The thing that was baffling me was the boxing legends and the boxing icons that were saying I should retire if I lose again: “Joshua hasn’t got the skills to beat Ruiz” and “his manager is crazy for putting him in a rematch straight away.”

On dealing with the failure of losing his titles:

You learn to make the best of a bad situation and you build resilience. Even if I’d failed again in the rematch I’d have understood that that’s how life goes. At some point along the line you get to reap the rewards.

How admiration for Ruiz gave him the drive to regain his titles:

It was a great time to be a fighter after I lost because no one could rattle me and no coach could push me beyond my limits. I was in beast mode. Watching Andy on the other side of the world let me see what it was to be a world champion. When I saw Andy Ruiz being admired I thought “I want some of that”. That gave me the drive to regain my titles – seeing it from the other side what admiration is and appreciation for your craft.

DYNAMIC DUO: Joshua being interviewed by Johnny Nelson

On how the rematch was a mental challenge:

The whole fight was a mental situation. If you want the same result I do the same thing and that’s why I had to change certain aspects. I just needed to win and I had to do what I had to do to win. In terms of sticking to a game plan, it’s difficult to do it for 12 rounds. When I looked at Ruiz and saw he was three stone heavier than me I thought if he catches me he’s going to knock me out! So this fight was all about skill.

On fighting Wilder or Fury:

It will be better for me to fight fury or Wilder now before they took a loss. In a weird way losing does something to you and the experience of going through it can bring out the best in you. A fight with the winner will happen for sure.

On fighting at Wembley again and who he’d like to fight in 2020:

I would 100% love to fight again at Wembley, it’s mad to say I’ve boxed here it’s a blessing. If it was up to me, in 2020 I’d fight Usyk and the winner of Wilder versus Fury.

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