Anthony Joshua was ‘SCARED and holding back a bit’ in Oleksandr Usyk defeat, claims Andy Ruiz Jr… who joins Eddie Hearn in questioning his tactics after he lost his world titles again
- Anthony Joshua was beaten by Oleksandr Usyk via a unanimous points defeat
- The Briton’s tactics were questioned by many in boxing, such as Eddie Hearn
- Andy Ruiz Jr, who beat Joshua in 2019, says the Briton seemed ‘scared’
- Ruiz said he thought AJ would be too strong but may have ‘underestimated’ Usyk
Anthony Joshua’s former rival Andy Ruiz Jr described his performance against Oleksandr Usyk as hesitant and ‘scared’ and questioned the Brit’s tactics after he was stripped of his heavyweight world titles on Saturday night.
The 31-year-old suffered a shock unanimous points defeat to Usyk, losing his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO to the Ukrainian. It was also Joshua’s second defeat in four clashes inside the ring.
Ruiz, who beat Joshua in June 2019 before the Briton bounced back by winning their rematch six months later, admitted he was underwhelmed by AJ’s display and expected much more movement from him.
Anthony Joshua seemed ‘scared’ against Oleksandr Usyk, according to Andy Ruiz Jr
Ruiz (back) knows what it is like to beat Joshua (front) after he won a heavyweight clash in 2019
‘I thought Anthony was going to be the stronger man,’ Ruiz told FightHype.com. ‘I thought he was going to box him around with his abilities, you know.
‘He just kind of stayed there. I don’t know why he wasn’t moving around, like in the second fight with me.
‘He ran around and made sure he didn’t get hit, and if he did, he would grab and move around. So he had his strategy. But for this fight, it didn’t go his way.
‘It was probably the wrong strategy. He probably underestimated him. Kind of like how I did with Chris Arreola (in May where Ruiz won via unanimous decision).
Ruiz admitted he was surprised by how static Joshua (right) was against Usyk (left) in London
‘I think Anthony Joshua is still there, still strong. I kind of felt he was scared and holding back a little bit. Maybe it was the lefty style of Usyk and how he moves.’
Defeat means Joshua is now likely to take on Usyk in a rematch next year in a bid to win his world heavyweight titles back for a second time.
Joshua took to social media on Thursday to reveal he has now fully analysed the fight and pinpointed his errors in it.
‘I’ve watched the fight, analysed my preparations & identified my mistakes. I’ve learnt my lesson,’ he wrote on Twitter.
Joshua admitted on Thursday that he has now analysed his mistakes and will learn from them
‘Thanks for sending love & checking in. Don’t worry about me. My spirit is strong!’
Mexican-American boxer Ruiz Jr is not the only figure boxing to have questioned Joshua’s tactics, with his promoter Eddie Hearn admitting his gameplan was ‘terrible’.
‘I don’t know whether it was almost a rebellious thing where it’s like, “No, I’m going to go in there and outbox him”, Hearn told iFL TV.
‘Just a terrible idea, terrible idea. But don’t forget, Usyk negates things that you want to try and do.’
Even his own promoter, Eddie Hearn (above), questioned Joshua’s tactics against Usyk
Derek Chisora, meanwhile, has defended Joshua for tryin g to outbox Usyk and claimed the British boxing icon is capable of bouncing back in their prospective rematch.
‘He wanted to box the boxer. And if it had gone perfectly, and he had won, we would all be calling him a genius,’ Chisora told BT Sport. ‘It went the other way so we go back to the drawing board and he will get it right next time.
‘The gameplan was the gameplan they worked on, it’s not like he just came up with it in the ring on the day, this is what they worked on in the last five or six months.
‘There was nothing wrong with the gameplan but it just didn’t work enough. He could pull it off in the rematch, it is all up to him. He doesn’t have to change drastically, he just has to work more and put more power punches together.’
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