Anthony Joshua 'in a very dark place' after Andy Ruiz Jr defeat - Mitchell

Monday, June 3rd, 2019 4:28pm

By James Gray @jamestingray

Anthony Joshua will have to come back from a 'very dark place' after being beaten by Andy Ruiz Jr, according to former boxing Kevin Mitchell.

Joshua was knocked down four times in a shock defeat to the Mexican-American, who stopped the Brit in the seventh round.

The former Olympic champion had never previously lost as a professional and will now hope to face Ruiz Jr later this year in a rematch to win back his belts.

But Mitchell, a former world title challenger in the lightweight division and a good friend of Joshua's, reckons his first challenge is to overcome the disappointment of a first pro defeat.

"He looked in a bit of a daze [after the fight]," Mitchell told Love Sport Radio.

"This is what people don’t see in boxing now, the mornings where you wake up on your own, you don’t have your belts, all the money in the world can’t help you in your down days. Nobody sees that. 

"They think it’s a great life, they see you driving a nice car and living in the big house, flying on private jets, but newspapers that have been praising you for years are now showing you on your a***. He’ll be in a very dark place.

"That’s boxing - one minute you’re the best thing in the world, next thing you’re chinny.

"Any heavyweight that gets hit with a good shot is going over. What we’ve got to look forward to now is how he’s gonna return, 

"Give him a few weeks to clear his head and he’ll be back in the gym very determined."

Joshua was the first man to score a knockdown, putting Ruiz Jr down in the third round, only to end up being knocked down twice himself in the same round.

The Brit never seemed to fully recover and was widely criticised afterwards for underestimating his challenger, who know holds three world titles at the age of 29.

Anthony Joshua CROPPED

He added: "Last thing I said to [Joshua] was 'keep your hands up and don’t think this is gonna be an easy fight'.

"I’ve been there before and I’ve had a few slip-ups in my career in big fights and you think you’re
better than what you are.

"I don’t think that’s the point with AJ though. He’s a heavyweight and any heavyweight that gets hit can be hurt.

"After his (Ruiz) first few shots, he felt his power. I think he went in there with the wrong tactics, thinking he was going to blow him out, I think we all did.

"What matters now is how he’s going to come back, how he’ll return for the fight.

"That’s the sign of a great heavyweight, if he can come back, win the belts back and move onto the Furys, the Wilders."

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