British-Nigerian Anthony Joshua said his first career defeat at the hands of Andy Ruiz Jr. was due to a lack of experience and he had become a “smarter” fighter ahead of December’s rematch.
Mexican-American Ruiz produced one of boxing’s biggest upsets when he dethroned the previously undefeated world heavyweight champion with a seventh-round stoppage at New York’s Madison Square Garden in June.
“It wasn’t burnout. The issues I faced in the last camp, it’s just down to lack of experience,” he told BBC.
“Even though it was at a high level, we were still finding experience.
“Andy Ruiz is good but I don’t think he should beat me twice. I used to hear guys say you have to take a loss and I would think ‘why’?
“Now I can understand it and know what it takes. I have more understanding now and my ears are open to new information so that’s making me smarter as a fighter,” Joshua said.
The WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight title rematch – dubbed the ‘Clash on the Dunes’, will take place in Saudi Arabia on Dec. 7 after former Olympic Champion Joshua triggered a rematch clause.
“The blessing is I have a second chance and here we are,” the 30-year-old said. (Reuters/NAN)