Anthony Joshua claims he CHOSE not to stop Andy Ruiz Jr to prove critics wrong – just like he did against Joseph Parker
ANTHONY JOSHUA decided against knocking out Andy Ruiz Jr in their rematch in order to prove a point to his 'critics'.
AJ went up against Mexico's first heavyweight champion in December 2019, six months after he was stopped by the burly bruiser in his ill-fated American debut.
Joshua put on a clinic in their Saudi showdown, using his reach and boxing at range to reclaim the unified titles with a unanimous decision victory.
Despite cruising to victory in the make-or-break rematch, Joshua was criticised for not stopping Ruiz Jr.
But the Watford Warrior had no intention of having a quick night at the office against The Destroyer.
He told JD Sports: “There’s only two fights I‘ve said that (I’m going the distance) Joseph Parker and Andy Ruiz 2 when I’ve said to myself this fight I’m taking the distance.
“I’ve consciously said that to myself, the first one with Joseph Parker everyone says I can’t go 12 rounds I’m unfit, everyone’s game plan was I’m going to take AJ to the later round he’s going to run out of gas.
“I said you know what, I’m going to show this guy can go 12 rounds so that was that I went 12 rounds with him – I wanted to silence my critics.
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“Ruiz 2 there was a strategy in place where it was box, when I watched Joe Louie versus two-ton Tony Galento he boxed and moved well.
“You don’t really box into someone’s strengths so we took away a lot of his strengths and we stayed on the outside of the ring, we manoeuvred well, that float like a butterfly sting like a bee type of element, we tried to bring that to that fight which was a 12 round fight so we got that decision.”
Joshua, 31, is currently gearing up for his long-awaited undisputed heavyweight title fight with Tyson Fury.
The pair have agreed to throw down in Saudi Arabia in the summer, although their multi-million-pound showdown has yet to be finalised.
And Fury's co-promoter Bob Arum has claimed the long-awaited Battle of Britain is 'dead in the water'.
He told The Daily Telegraph: "It will take months for the Saudis to do their due diligence on such a huge deal.
"It is not just a site fee, there are ancillary demands from the Saudis stretching into the broadcast deals and other things, it could take months for it all to play out.
"It could even take until 2022 the way it looks right now.
"The fight in July or August is dead in the water as far as we are concerned.
"The two fighters need to go and have other fights this summer while the negotiations for that fight in the Middle East conclude."
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