Amir Khan: Anthony Joshua’s rematch v Andy Ruiz is 'the worst mistake he could make’

Anthony Joshua v Andy Ruiz Jr.

Anthony Joshua could be forgiven for taking some time out to play basketball with fans after his shock defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr in New York last weekend.

The UK’s unified heavyweight champion lost his three belts at the hands of the Mexican, sparking uproar across the boxing world.

Joshua was knocked down four times during a seven-round loss in which he looked out of sorts at best.

But the 29-year-old will soon get a chance to reclaim the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles thanks to a rematch clause in the original contract between Ruiz and himself.

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed the second fight will take place “in November or December” – a decision Amir Khan believes he could regret making.

“When I heard he was doing that I thought it was the worst mistake he could make,” Khan told the Independent.

“Look, first of all, Ruiz will be full of confidence going into this fight and you’ve got Joshua who will be a little bit on the edge and on the back foot knowing that he can be hurt and put down.

“I think it’s a very bad to take back-to-back and I can’t believe Eddie is putting him straight back into the mix with him. I think he needs a nice easy knockout win – maybe two – and then have the rematch.”

Anthony Joshua v Andy Ruiz Jr.

Khan knows better than most what it’s like to be dethroned in less than graceful circumstances.

Following his brutal 54-second defeat to Breidis Prescott in September 2008, he rebuilt his career only to be cut down once again versus Terence Crawford on 20 April.

Reflecting on the aftermath of these experiences, the former darling of British boxing said: “With me, I lost friends. Friends who were big supporters of mine turned around and said I was finished.

“People stop answering your calls, the big contracts leave you.

“I had contracts with Reebok, who were paying me a lot of money, and they just washed their hands of me. They said: ‘see ya later’.

Anthony Joshua v Andy Ruiz Jr.

“Mate, it happens too quickly. That’s why boxing is the hardest and most brutal sport. If you lose in boxing they throw you under the bus.

“Anthony will tell you himself, it’s a very dark place when you get beat. It doesn’t make it easier when your friends desert you and only a handful of people stay with you.”

Khan is set to return to the ring himself to fight little-known Indian Neeraj Goyat in Saudi Arabia on 12 July.

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