Boxing experts discuss whether Anthony Joshua quit against Andy Ruiz Jr


Andy Ruiz Jr's seventh-round victory over the undefeated Anthony Joshua back in June is generally considered one of the biggest upsets in boxing history, with some people striking comparisons between it and the famous Mike Tyson v Buster Douglas fight in 1990. 

Unsurprisingly, with their Saudi Arabia rematch coming up on December 7, the highly controversial ending to their first bout has cropped up again as a point of debate.

Some people argue that AJ could have continued the fight and that the referee ended the match prematurely, while others say that the encounter was effectively over by that point and the referee made the right decision.

Sky Sports showed a programme titled 'The Gloves Are Off - The Debate' in which several Sky Sports pundits sat around a table and engaged in a heated debate, discussing the sudden ending to the first fight.

Former professional boxer Carl Froch began by discussing the controversial moment: "He was in serious trouble. Every time he tried to punch, he got counter punched towards the end.

"The body shots, the head shots were clipping him. His legs were still gone, but the stoppage, when he went over he kind of looked at his corner, then he spat his gum shield out.

"Okay, good move, give yourself a bit of a breather, then when he stood up, he knew he stood up on eight seconds. You have to then look at the referee in the eye and convince the referee 'I want to keep fighting,' by the way.

"But he walked back to the corner nonchalantly, put his gloves up. Well, that's ultimately why the referee stopped the fight, because he didn't look like he wanted to carry on, did he?"

Former WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew went on to disagree with Froch, adding: "Does he think he's getting the benefit of the doubt, because of who he is?

Oleksandr Usyk and Tony Bellew Press Conference

"A kid coming from the situation and the place he's from, they don't quit. I don't care what anybody says, there's no way in a million years. At no point did he say 'I don't want no more.' At no point did he shake his head and say 'no'."

David Haye continued the debate by suggesting that perhaps AJ was expecting special treatment.

"That part that I couldn't get my head around is - in the seventh round when he got put down, it wasn't like a big shot. He seemed like he just got cuffed and just wanted a little bit of a break.

"He goes down, gathers himself, gets up at eight and then turns his back and walks away from the referee at eight. That's one thing I don't understand. Maybe he realised that it's the 'AJ Show' and the referee is going to give me the benefit of the doubt?

Anthony Joshua v Andy Ruiz Jr.

"I would never get up in a fight at eight and turn my back on the ref, because I would expect the referee to go 'the fight is over!'"

Finally, Paulie Malignaggi argued: "I watched the [Wladimir] Klitschko fight myself. Get up in front of 90,000 people, not only get up after a knockdown, but then go through the next couple of rounds when it's not going his way and he's still focused, concentrated until he finally steadies the ship and turns it around and gets a knockout against an ex-world champion.

"He showed he can do it, but was the fatigue a factor in this fight to take the fight out of him? At that moment, was he just like 'wow, this guy is coming at me and I'm too tired to deal with this?' I'm playing devil's advocate because again, the reaction in that moment - could he have quit? It's possible, it's up for debate."

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