Joshua says had health issue before first Ruiz fight

Andy Ruiz celebrates aftera heavyweight championship boxing match against British boxer Anthony Joshua Saturday

Unified world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua said a health issue left him "tired" and "drained" in the build-up to his June defeat by Andy Ruiz Jr. "We'll never see it, and I don't want people to get their hopes up on it because it'll never happen", said the American.

"I'm sure PBC were desperately rooting for Andy to win, but we came and put a little spanner in their works".

But it was a clear factor and one that did not match up well with Joshua's improved pace and footwork.

"But you know what, if we do the third fight, you best believe I'm going to get in the f*****g the best shape and I'm going to be in the best shape of my life".

Joshua admitted he intends to be a different champion second time around and sympathised with the overweight, undercooked Ruiz. These fans had remained loyal to Joshua, their champion, whether he was in possession of the heavyweight belts or not, and have been duly repaid. Thank you for bringing me this flag as well, I appreciate it.

"All the fights that he's done in his career, he was 255, 257, 246".

Ruiz and his camp had attempted to downplay his ballooning weight after he tipped the scales at 128kg the day before Sunday's fight in Saudi Arabia.

Conspiracy theories had circulated after his initial defeat, one of the biggest shocks in heavyweight history. I am used to knocking guys out.

But last time I realised: "'Hang on a minute, I hurt the man and I got caught coming in, "' said Joshua in the post-fight interview.

"I'd rather not discuss that because I don't want it to seem like an excuse". I said I would correct myself again. I felt so exhausted and drained and thought it must be down to training. I just wanted to put on a great boxing masterclass, and also show the sweet science of this lovely sport. "Hit and don't get hit".

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Andy Ruiz was way too heavy.

It had been a hard old run, those six months of a new reality as challenger and it is only now, in the glow of redemption, that he feels fully comfortable again.

He added: "There's a lot of responsibility being a champion of the world".

Andy Ruiz Jr. pulled off one of the biggest upsets in boxing history when he defeated Anthony Joshua via seventh-round TKO stoppage in their first meeting last June at the Madison Square Garden in NY. Sadly, as Andy mentioned, he ought to have been extra dedicated, he ought to have educated more durable, however what are you going to do now? "I've given you what you pay for each and every time, especially when we're talking about a heavyweight bout".

What is next for the two fighters? He will be ordered to defend his IBF title against Bulgarian Kubrav Pulev.

Usyk could be made to wait for his guaranteed WBO title fight as the IBF have suggested their mandatory must come first for Joshua and fellow Brit Derek Chisora has been holding talks over a fight with the Olympic gold medallist.

Ruiz has already stated his desire for a trilogy bout with Joshua, but the reality of that may be slim.

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His tactics earned him a win by unanimous decision, but Wilder was less than impressed.

For Joshua, 2019 was a year in which he was handed an invaluable lesson.

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