Anthony Joshua intends to enforce a rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr after his stunning loss and promoter Eddie Hearn wants to stage the second fight in the UK.
Britain’s heavyweight star suffered a shocking knockout defeat to Ruiz Jr in the seventh round as his unbeaten record and world title reign was ended on his US debut at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Joshua received a major setback in his bid to secure massive fights with WBC champion Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, with his immediate priority now a return bout against the Mexican.
“I train hard, I stay dedicated and just got beat by a good fighter tonight,” Joshua told Sky Sports Box Office. “It will be interesting to see how far he goes, so good luck to him, but I’ve got to bounce back.
“This is all part of the story and the journey.”
After flooring Ruiz Jr in the third round, Joshua was then dropped twice himself, and would topple to the canvas on two further occasions in the seventh before the fight was waved off.
“Fire at heart, boxer by trade, but look he done well,” said Joshua. “He done what he had to do. Everyone has come out for a good night of boxing. It’s got people talking, so more life to the heavyweight division.
“You know when your legs are all over the gaff, you’re just trying to stabilise your mind, your whole body. It’s the first time really like that in a heavyweight fight. The one with Klitschko I was just tired, but he’s a very grounded fighter.
“With me, they can’t box with me, so they just look for big shots, so I’ve just got to work on being a bit stronger on my base. Congratulations to the first ever Mexican heavyweight champion.”
Asked about a rematch, he replied: “I’ve got to get that solid armoury. This is the risk we take, but we’ll bounce back.
“He’s the champ for now. Just put that in mind, he’s the champ for now. I shall return.”
Matchroom Boxing boss Hearn intends for Joshua to return to Britain for his second fight with Ruiz Jr.
“AJ will be back 100 per cent. We’ll make the rematch in the UK, November, December, but tonight belongs to Andy Ruiz.
“He made history. It was a massive heavyweight shock tonight.”
Ruiz Jr had endured the first knockdown of his career, revealing how it spurred him on to produce a massive upset.
“That was my first time getting dropped on the floor, but you know what, it just made me stronger, and it made me want it even more, and I just had to knock him down back,” he said.
Discussing a rematch, he added: “Of course man, right now I just want to celebrate. I just made history baby for Mexico.”