Joshua opens up on difficult 2019

Anthony Joshua was handed his first professional defeat in a shock slip-up against Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019, a year he admits was a “difficult time” in his heavyweight career

The British star lost his unified heavyweight titles in a major upset at Madison Square Garden, New York, back in June of last year, with underdog Ruiz knocking him to the canvas four times before forcing a stoppage that shocked the world.

There was enormous pressure on Joshua’s shoulders when he met his tormentor in a highly-anticipated rematch six months later, but he produced a cool, calm and collected boxing masterclass in Saudi Arabia to become a two-time champion of the world.

Nevertheless, the Olympic champion insists it was “a real tough year” for him after being handed a shock defeat against the Mexican on his US debut.

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