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Andy Ruiz Jr.: 'I don't know what happened with Anthony Joshua'

Andy Ruiz Jr.: 'I don't know what happened with Anthony Joshua'Showtime
Anthony Joshua lost for the second consecutive time on Saturday to Oleksandr Usyk by a split decision in Saudi Arabia. Joshua fought better than he did in the first fight. But this past weekend's effort wasn't enough as Usyk roared back from nearly being stopped in the ninth round to win the last three rounds to retain his three heavyweight titles. 

One man who had a keen interest in the rematch was Andy Ruiz Jr., who returns to action on Sunday, Sept. 4, against former two-time heavyweight challenger Luis Ortiz.   Ruiz handed Joshua the first loss of his career in June 2019 in front of a sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden when he stepped on short notice to drop the Englishman four times in route to winning the IBF, WBA (super), and WBO heavyweight belts. Joshua came back six months to dominate Ruiz and regain the titles. The result of the fight was exactly how Ruiz pictured it. He was watching the action and wondering if something was or is wrong with Joshua. 

"I called the fight," Ruiz told DAZN. "I felt Usyk was going to win. He's a man of Christ. He did his thing. He did what he was supposed to do. He boxed him around. He threw good combinations. But I felt… I don't know what happened with Anthony Joshua. I felt like he needed that aggressiveness. I don't know what happened."

Ruiz wasn't surprised by Usyk winning. He saw it coming before the first bell even sounded. 

"Because even in the training, even in the media workout, I fell his foot was a little off," Ruiz said. "We've been training for four months already for the lefty style, so we have to adapt to those types of styles and especially if they move around, or if they be aggressive. We've got to counterpunch. We got to be aggressive. I find that Anthony Joshua didn't do those things."

One of the key factors heading into the fight was Joshua returning to be the aggressive guy running roughshod over the heavyweight division. He had many feeling he was arguably the best heavyweight in the world. However, the growing consensus was the urgency had been taken away from Joshua since the war against Wladimir Klitschko in 2017. 

A case can be made that the in-your-face mentality of Joshua was taken away by Ruiz after Joshua dropped him in the third round, and the former bounced up and pulled off one of the biggest upsets in modern boxing history. Ruiz wouldn't admit that was the case, but it is something he's been told often in the Usyk-Joshua 2 aftermath.

"I did have a lot of text messages of people telling me like, ‘Man, it was your fault. That's why Anthony Joshua was not that aggressive. He's thinking too much. He's being too cautious’," Ruiz said.

"Us fighters, we shouldn't care. I feel we should go out there with the bang. It's scary. I feel that's what fighters fear of them getting dropped, getting hurt, or getting knocked out. But this is boxing. You're gonna get hit. You're gonna get hurt. But the main thing is you got to have those cajones to get back up and to win the fight. When Cris Arreola hurt me a few times, I still had to have that same momentum to win the fight. And when he dropped me on my knees, when I buckled, I still had to get back up. I still had to be aggressive. We can't really show that we're hurt or that we're scared. We got to keep going forward. We're fighters. We gotta be dogs in there."


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