Anthony Joshua's mouthpiece came flying out, as Andy Ruiz Jr. had just knocked him down for the fourth time in their June 1 fight. The referee started to register the count and Joshua beat it at eight. However, as the British boxer walked to his corner, the ref warned him "you're not on break, let's go." Seconds later, the ref stopped the action, not getting enough of a response from Joshua, and Ruiz earned the shocking seventh-round TKO to become heavyweight champion of the world.
Over five months later and just a week from their Dec. 7 rematch at the newly constructed Diriyah Arena in Saudi Arabia (live on DAZN), Ruiz and Joshua sat face-to-face for Sky Sports' show "Gloves Are Off." The show's host, Johnny Nelson, asked Ruiz if he thinks Joshua quit in that seventh round.
“A little bit," Ruiz responded sitting directly across from Joshua. "I feel he quit because of the way that it was won. I think he was still out of it, I didn’t think he knew where he was at that moment. I think that he quit.”
To that, Joshua replied: “The referee waved off the fight. It’s just opinion, innit. I roll with it, I ride with it, I’m a champion through and through, no matter what anyone says to me.”
When Ruiz was asked if he'd ever do the same thing in that kind of situation, the unified world champion said: “Depends how hurt I was. I’m not gonna quit. If I fall, I fall.”
Joshua then reasserted that he didn't quit.
“The conclusion is, ‘I quit,’ but I feel like why wouldn’t I have stayed though?”
He added: “Why wouldn’t I have stayed though? He hit me with a shot I couldn’t recover from and I still stuck in there.”
Ruiz wasn't the only one to have felt like Joshua quit in their first fight. Following Joshua's loss, WBC champion Deontay Wilder tweeted: "He wasn’t a true champion. His whole career was consisted of lies, contradictions and gifts. Facts and now we know who was running from who! The worst thing you can do in life is f—ing quit!!"
As the "Gloves Are Off" segment continued, Ruiz vowed that he's going to end Joshua's career with their rematch. The unified world champ believes another emphatic victory is the only way to prove that his June 1 TKO win wasn't a fluke.
“I have to. I have to, right?” Ruiz said about having to end Joshua's career. “He’s trying to take my career as well. It’s either me or him inside the ring. I will and I am.”