"Joshua could retire if he loses to Ruiz", says former light heavyweight champion

Thursday, December 5th, 2019 7:04pm

By Francis Whiteley

Nicky Piper isn't sold on AJ's credentials

Anthony Joshua has always been touted as a potential all time great. Even as a youthful amateur, he was being touted as a potential world beater, and throughout his professional career it was all going to plan - until, that is, he met a certain Mr Andy Ruiz Jr.

The Mexican American produced one of the all time great shock results when he knocked AJ out at Madison Square Garden, and the two men are set to face off again on Saturday night.

It's a huge night for Joshua, with his entire career on the line - if he wants to be the greatest, he needs to start by getting those belts back.

But not everyone is sold on AJ's credentials. Speaking to Love Sport Radio, former Commonwealth light heavyweight champion Nicky Piper said another Joshua defeat wouldn't be a huge shock, because he never backed Joshua to become a legend anyway!

"I never thought AJ was going to be the greatest in history. He's a brilliant fighter, a world champion, a magnificent specimen - but he's not good the boxing skill of a Muhammad Ali, or the power of a Lennox Lewis or the quality of Evander Holyfield". 

"I don't think he was ever going to be one of the true greats, but he was certainly going to rule the world for a year or two and it was a real shock when he lost. But even if he does come back and beat Ruiz this time, he's still got a huge amount to prove against the likes of Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury."

And Piper suggested that if Joshua loses, he could even be tempted to pack it all in and retire.

"He'll question whether he needs to carry on. He's made absolutely tens of millions of pounds so he doesn't need the money, and if he loses his confidence will be shot. There will still be big fights for him if he loses, but if he goes down inside the distance there will certainly be questions asked of his boxing future".

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