Anthony Joshua admits he was too relaxed ahead of his loss to Andy Ruiz Jr and has vowed to be “livelier” ahead of their rematch.
Ruiz Jr emphatically ended the Brit’s reign as WBA (Super), WBO, IBF and IB0 heavyweight champion on June 1, winning via seventh-round TKO.
Joshua was dropped four times before referee Mike Griffin called a halt to proceedings, an act which saw Ruiz Jr crowned Mexico’s first heavyweight champion.
Much was made of Joshua’s mindset after the fight, with many analysing and scrutinising his demeanour during his ring walk and the final moments before the bout commenced.
While reflecting on his first professional loss during an appearance on Eddie Hearn’s ‘No Passion, No Point’ podcast, ‘AJ’ admitted he wasn’t 100 per cent switched on ahead of his ill-fated American debut, a mistake he’s vowed not to repeat when he rematches Ruiz Jr later this year.
“I need to start taking this approach to my fights where I’m a bit more lively,” Joshua told his promoter.
“I know I’m capable of it. There is too much at stake. If I go in there where I’m switched on, a time like the Ruiz fight where I am so relaxed, that might be the difference.”
Joshua was his biggest critic after his Madison Square Garden mauling and admits he asked himself a series of tough questions after lamenting defeat to the unfancied Ruiz Jr.
“I think I had to grieve and ask myself all the questions you would expect,” said the 29-year-old “People say ‘you lost’; I call it a blip.
“I can’t wait to get in there and fight him. Every time I have fought a champion I have risen to the occasion.”
Joshua will have the opportunity to avenge his sole defeat in Saudi Arabia on December 7.
The Watford warrior is relishing the chance to even the score with ‘The Destroyer’, saying: “I feel I was up against the good challenger at the time. And as I mentioned I was only champion until June 1.