The dethroned champion is making no excuses for his first defeat
Eddie Hearn has exclusively told talkSPORT about his conversation with Anthony Joshua two days after his shock loss to Andy Ruiz Jr.
The promoter says AJ is adamant he will win back his WBA, IBF and WBO world titles in a rematch with the unheralded Mexican-American, who knocked him out on Saturday night in New York.
The underdog challenger climbed off the canvas and decked the champion four times en route to a seventh-round finish which stunned the boxing world.
When asked if Ruiz was underestimated by their team, Hearn told talkSPORT Drive: “No, not at all.
“I’d like to tell you he [AJ] had a terrible camp, he wasn’t focused, but I didn’t see that. He worked very hard in training as he always does.
“I just think he got hit by a shot around the back of the ear and he never recovered. He paid the price for being sloppy…
“I think it was a huge shock for everybody, AJ was probably the calmest person of everybody.
“I even said to him today, ‘People said you didn’t look right.’
“[He replied], ‘I was fine, I just got beat, I just got beat by the better man on the night, I got hit by a shot that I didn’t recover from and that’s it. Let’s go again, back to work.’
“He’s only had 40 amateur fights and 22 pro fights going into Saturday and now he’s defending heavyweight titles at MSG.
“Sometimes he doesn’t have the experience others do and sometimes you can pay the price.”
Rival WBC champion Deontay Wilder has come out in the aftermath and branded Joshua as ‘mentally weak,’ insisting that he won’t take the rematch.
However, Hearn has put paid to this theory, declaring a fight for potential redemption is already in the works.
“This rematch is huge and we’ll have details on a date for that very soon…
“What you’ve got to do now is get behind Anthony Joshua and say, ‘Okay, let’s see what you’re made of.’
“I know what he’s made of, he’ll be back better and stronger than ever and this rematch is gonna be a huge, huge fight.
“But the pressure is on because it’s one thing losing the first fight, you’ve got your rematch, let’s go again.
“You lose the second fight, that’d be really damaging for his career.
“I know how much he’ll wanna get his belts back, I spoke to him this morning.
“He’s going to be working hard to assess what went wrong, improve, learn from it, but most importantly win his titles back.”