Eddie Hearn has admitted Anthony Joshua was relieved to be beaten by Andy Ruiz in one of boxing’s most stunning upsets.
Ruiz, who is now the WBO, WBA (Super) and IBF heavyweight champion, dropped Joshua four times on the way to a victory that sent shockwaves through the boxing world.
Joshua now plans to jump into an immediate rematch with Ruiz, but his promoter conceded AJ feels lighter after losing his belts and undefeated record.
‘Anthony has this massive pressure on his shoulders all the time,’ he said on hisBBC Radio 5 Live podcast.
‘He is the first mega star of boxing in this country and it was almost like a relief to him.
‘He will never admit that but the fact that I am the challenger now, I am not this champion who has four belts and who everyone expects me to win all the time. It’s kind of like the pressure is off.’
Rival promoter Frank Warren also suggested Joshua looked relieved after his loss to Ruiz, tellingMetro.co.ukhe was surprised AJ wasn’t more angry with himself.
‘I’d want my fighter to be pissed off about a defeat. He seemed to me like a weight had been lifted,’ Warren said.
‘Joshua’s guard is just too low. I’ve said it so many times, we know his vulnerabilities.
‘We’re watching his fights all the time. The strengths are obvious and it’s the weaknesses you look for.
‘Joshua is too easy to hit. I don’t think Rob McCracken has taught him anything about defence.’