Ruiz shocked the world when he finished Joshua within seven rounds in their first meeting, although the Brit did win his titles back in their immediate rematch later that year
Andy Ruiz Jr has said that he hopes he didn’t “destroy” Anthony Joshua’s career by stopping him in their first fight.
The American was a late-notice replacement for Joshua’s US debut, and made history when he stopped the Brit in a huge upset at Madison Square Garden.
Ruiz became an household name overnight although Joshua did avenge his defeat when he won back his heavyweight titles just months later.
And asked if he would agree with an assessment made by former pound-for-pound boxing great Timothy Bradley that he had “ruined Joshua’s career”, Ruiz told Brian Custer on his podcastLast Stand. “I wouldn’t want to destroy anybody’s career at all.
“But I can see him being gun-shy and hesitating a little bit, and I can see him getting hurt.
“Maybe he’s a little scared of getting hurt because he doesn’t want the same thing happening. It’s normal for fighters, and I think he needs to get his confidence back.
“No, I wouldn’t say I ruined him, I wouldn’t want to ruin nobody’s career.
“But I do agree with Timothy Bradley – he is gun-shy, he is hesitating, he’s thinking too much instead of going in there and being the dog that he is.”
Bradley, a former pound-for-pound great, was speaking to FightHype when he made the assertion that Joshua was “ruined” by Ruiz.
Asked what had gone wrong for Joshua to lead him to his lacklustre outing with Usyk, Bradley responded: “I think in the Ruiz fight – I think that ruined him.
“Joshua’s okay, it just seems like he’s comfortable with losing a fight. He’s gracious and whatever you want to call it, but it’s too easy for me.
“I think that ruined his confidence, I think he’s also scared to get hit.
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“He’s gun-shy, don’t wanna throw because he’s afraid of getting hit, so that’s why you didn’t see him throw.”
Joshua was a huge favourite when he fought Ruiz back in the summer of 2019, and fans were stunned when he was beaten by the American, who had become known for his unflattering physique.
He went on to win the rematch against Ruiz in December of the same year, before defending his unified titles against Kubrat Pulev last Christmas.
But he was comprehensively beaten at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium in London last month when he took on mandatory challenger Usyk.
Joshua had been preparing for an undisputed title fight with Tyson Fury in August, when arbitration brought by Deontay Wilder cost him the big money bout.
And he immediately was ordered to fight Usyk, an unbeaten former undisputed cruiserweight champion who was an Olympic gold medalist at the London 2012 games where Joshua made his name.
Despite Joshua entering as a slight favourite against Usyk, the Ukrainian turned up in the form of his life and dominated the bout from start-to-finish, with the pair now set for a rematch early next year.
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