Joshua explains 'punch from the gods' remark

By Russell Greaves 27 November 2019 25
Joshua explains 'punch from the gods' remark

Anthony Joshua has explained his "punch from the gods" comment after it was interpreted as a slight against Andy Ruiz Jr.

Heavyweight Joshua suffered a shock loss – the first of his professional career – at the hands of replacement opponent Ruiz back in June.

In the build-up to their title rematch in Saudi Arabia on December 7, the Brit sought to clarify remarks he made that appeared to suggest Ruiz got lucky with the punch that settled matters first time around.

"Why did I say it was a punch from the gods? Because I train in a certain way that means he shouldn't hit me with that shot. So I said it was sent from the gods," Joshua, sitting opposite Ruiz, told Sky Sports ahead of his bid to reclaim the IBF, WBA and WBO titles.

"But for him, for Andy? That's the shot he landed because he trained for it.

"I don't worry too much what he's doing. He knows what he's doing. I have to focus on myself."

In response, Ruiz said: "I agree it was from the gods because I was praying and wishing my whole life."

The first bout in New York resulted in one of the biggest upsets in sport, as clear favourite Joshua was dropped to the canvas four times.

In a contest where the physical differences between the fighters was readily apparent, Ruiz insisted he was never worried about facing a far bigger and more athletic opponent.

"His style was perfect for me," he said. "The way he moves around, the way he carries himself in the ring.

"He's strong, he's big – but none of that matters."


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Russell Greaves