Anthony Joshua has admitted that he felt a number of his friends in the boxing industry were “ready to stab him in the back” after his shock defeat against Andy Ruiz last year.
The British IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion suffered the only loss of his career in devastating fashion after being knocked down four times by Ruiz at Madison Square Garden in New York last year in one of the biggest upsets in heavyweight history.
Joshua immediately reclaimed his belts in a comprehensive decision victory in Saudi Arabia and took satisfaction in proving wrong the people within the business who’d taken pleasure in his downfall.
“I had my own issues going on, that I said I would explain one day. So I just took my loss like a man,” Joshua told DAZN.
“But what I found is that a lot of my industry friends that were smiling in my face were ready to stab me in the back when I took my loss.
“[The rematch] went even better. It was a one-sided fight. A classic display of the sweet science of hit and don’t get hit. Take the belt with ease and get back on the gravy train.”
Joshua notably returned to the sharp orthodox style that helped him clinch an Olympic gold medal as an amateur in 2012 for the bout against Ruiz.
“Andy couldn’t keep up, he couldn’t move his feet, couldn’t throw his hands fast enough to keep up with me,” he continued. “I think I won 11 out of 12 rounds if I was to be generous. I made history.”
Joshua was set to face mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev in June before the coronavirus outbreak, with the bout now delayed until later in the year, while the prospect of a historic all-British undisputed title fight against Tyson Fury remains a tantalising prospect in 2021.