Andy Ruiz claims Anthony Joshua was 'scared' against Oleksandr Usyk
"I kind of felt he was scared and holding back a little bit"
Andy Ruiz Jr has described Anthony Joshua's performance against Oleksandr Usyk as 'hesitant' and 'scared', questioning the tactical approach taken by the Brit.
Joshua lost to cruiserweight Usyk on points on Saturday night (25 September), losing his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO belts as a result of the loss.
Additionally, it is the 31-year-old's second defeat in his last four bouts and puts his highly-anticipated bout against Tyson Fury in doubt.
Ruiz claimed a shock victory against 'AJ' in June 2019, before Joshua defeated the Mexican in their rematch six months later in the fight billed as 'Clash On The Dunes'.
Following the Briton's loss against the Ukrainian at the weekend, Ruiz admitted that he was expecting more from his former rival and that he was disappointed by his performance.
"I thought Anthony was going to be the stronger man,' Ruiz told FightHype.com. "I thought he was going to box him around with his abilities, you know.
"He just kind of stayed there. I don't know why he wasn't moving around, like in the second fight with me.
"He ran around and made sure he didn't get hit, and if he did, he would grab and move around. So he had his strategy. But for this fight, it didn't go his way.
Andy Ruiz Jr on Anthony Joshua's defeat to Oleksandr Usyk: "I think it was probably the wrong strategy and he probably underestimated him… I think Joshua is still there, he's still strong, but it kind of felt like he was a little scared and holding back a bit." [@FightHype]
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) September 30, 2021
"It was probably the wrong strategy. He probably underestimated him. Kind of like how I did with Chris Arreola (in May where Ruiz won via unanimous decision).
"I think Anthony Joshua is still there, still strong. I kind of felt he was scared and holding back a little bit. Maybe it was the lefty style of Usyk and how he moves."
In contrast, heavyweight Derek Chisora has defended Joshua's approach of trying to outbox Usyk, suggesting that AJ is capable of securing victory in their prospective rematch.
"He wanted to box the boxer. And if it had gone perfectly, and he had won, we would all be calling him a genius," Chisora told BT Sport. "It went the other way so we go back to the drawing board and he will get it right next time.
"The gameplan was the gameplan they worked on, it's not like he just came up with it in the ring on the day, this is what they worked on in the last five or six months.
"There was nothing wrong with the gameplan but it just didn't work enough. He could pull it off in the rematch, it is all up to him. He doesn't have to change drastically, he just has to work more and put more power punches together."
On Wednesday, Usyk's team announced that Joshua had 'activated in principle' a rematch clause. They also stated that they hope Kiev will host the fight in February.
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