Anthony Joshua is on the comeback trail after suffering his first professional loss to Andy Ruiz Jr in June.
The 29-year-old was floored four times during his shock defeat to the Mexican-American at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Joshua and Ruiz are set to fight again on December 7 in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, though the latter is yet to confirm his part in it.
Regardless, though, the smack talk between the pair is already underway.
In a departure from the sincere respect Joshua paid to Ruiz in the aftermath of the stunning result, the Watfordian has made a bold statement about the credibility of his opponent’s win.
Joshua has told Sky Sports Ruiz “ain’t that skilful” and caught him out with “a lucky punch” in their first bout.
It’s an interesting attitude change from a man determined to redeem himself against his successor at the summit of heavyweight boxing.
“I took my ‘L’ like a man and I’m going to show people the art of bouncing back. That is what this fight is to me,” Joshua told William Hill.
“I’ve got to resurrect myself and my spirit and re-enlighten myself. I’m going for the second time to become the Heavyweight Champion of the World.
“If you want to win every battle, don’t step into the ring. If you want to have brilliant days every day, don’t go into challenges. Don’t set goals,” he added.
“But you have to set goals and challenges which is fine but it’s all about getting over them. Some may be tougher than others but is you set the goals, be prepared to stumble every now and again.
“I had a little stumbling block recently and in 10 years, it will have more meaning but right now, I have purpose of my fight with Ruiz.”
There’s a lot riding on Joshua’s next fight - potentially his entire career - and he’ll certainly need more than a ‘lucky punch’ of his own to reclaim the title he held for two years.
While he might be guilty of downplaying Ruiz’s quality, it’s a risky game to play if their next clash ends with the same outcome.
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