Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz Jr: Rumours AJ was knocked out in sparring before shock defeat, Gareth A Davies


The Brit lost his unified heavyweight titles in one of heavyweight boxing’s biggest shocks

Rumours have surfaced suggesting that Anthony Joshua may have been KOd in sparring before his stunning downfall at the hands of Andy Ruiz Jr on Saturday night.

The 29-year-old was decked four times, causing the referee to call a halt to the contest and crown a new heavyweight king at MSG in New York.

Anthony Joshua was knocked out in round seven


Anthony Joshua was knocked out in round seven

Many have suggested Joshua looked far from his best in the fight, even before being hit with the big left hook in round three, which began the sequence of events leading to his stoppage loss.

Renowned boxing expert Gareth A Davies reinforced these claims, telling talkSPORT: “There are stories that, potentially and possibly, Anthony Joshua had been sparring and had been hurt in sparring leading up to the fight.

“He had a problem with his eye coming into the fight, he had marks on his nose, the cut on his nose, swelling on one part of his face as well.

“And there is some – and these are just rumours at the moment – he might have been knocked out in sparring heading into the fight.

Spencer Oliver thinks Anthony Joshua underestimated Andy Ruiz Jr in his fight in New York

Some saw signs of concern in Joshua’s corner

Sky Sports

Some saw signs of concern in Joshua’s corner

“Maybe he was still suffering the effects from that.”

Promoter Eddie Hearn vowed to invoke the rematch clause in Ruiz Jr’s contract in the immediate aftermath of the defeat.

He said: “The rematch will be in the UK in November or December. Now we’ll see what AJ is about, this will be a big rematch but Ruiz deserves it.”

Former WBC champion Frank Bruno noted on Twitter that Joshua said “why am I feeling like this?” during one of the rounds, suggesting an issue behind his loss.

However, the man himself was offering no excuses after the loss and instead chose to give Ruiz Jr all of the credit.

“I got beaten by a good fighter,” he said. “It will be interesting to see how far he goes, but this is all part of the journey.

“He’s a champion for now, I shall return.”

The referee stopped Joshua in round seven of the title fight


The referee stopped Joshua in round seven of the title fight

Meanwhile, former IBF cruiserweight champion Glenn McCrory thinks this could be it for the 29-year-old.

“He’s bottom of the pile. He got beaten up by Andy Ruiz,” McCrory told talkSPORT.

“I think he’s finished. It’s not just the defeat, anybody can get defeated, but the nature of it,” adding he ‘let the nation down’.

Anthony Joshua looks forward in his post match press conference following his defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr