Anthony Joshua has claimed that he “took a loss” for Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder in his shock defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr back in June.
AJ was speaking to Chuckie Online on JD’s In the Duffle Bag podcast when he admitted – with his and his rivals’ records being so strong – he took a loss for the whole of the division, not just himself.
Joshua said: “I feel like I took a loss for the heavyweight division, cos (sic) at the time, Wilder – who was always in there – they’d always mentioned my name alongside, he’d only taken a draw, he hadn’t taken a loss. (Tyson) Fury – a draw – never a loss.
“(With) Anthony Joshua, clean record, now I took a loss so it was all eyes on Joshua again.
Coming off the back of what was a huge upset, Joshua revealed he was conscious of his public image and had to react in a manner becoming of someone who still had the drive to become world champion again: “I felt like it was important for me to deal with this like a true champion – in good times and adversity – handle it like a champion.
“I feel the message that I wanted to get across through the bad times is that you can still walk with your chin up and your back high – you should never shy away from these situations and we go again.”
“I thought that it would be a big setback but, interestingly, the biggest opportunity came out of this – going to Saudi, creating history, another defining moment.
Despite the loss, Joshua seemed in determined mood to avenge the result of the first fight, with some bullish words: “Take away everything that it (the fight) stands for, me – Anthony Joshua – is fighting for heavyweight champion of the world.
“Take away the word rematch, the fact I lost previously to this guy, I have a shot at the heavyweight champion of the world.
“Out of such a drastic and bad situation, flipside, there’s a massive positive that I get to fight for heavyweight champion of the world (on) December 7th – let’s rock and roll.
“I’m fighting a guy I know I can beat – providing I get my tactics right.”
Joshua will take on Ruiz in Diriyah on December 7th.