"I still want to compete with those men but a rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr is where we are at", Joshua said.
Ruiz rocked Joshua and dropped him two additional times in round seven prompting referee Michael Griffin to stop the fight.
It was the first loss of Joshua's career and severely damaged hopes for an elusive super-fight between the Brit and American WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. "Great fighters come back and improve", said Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn. I didn't see anything out of the ordinary (from Joshua), I think Ruiz pressed the attack and kept making AJ answer questions that eventually he didn't have the answer for. if anybody thinks just because a rematch is signed it's an automatic victory for AJ they need to think again'.
Ruiz made some new ones.
Four knockdowns later, he was an ex-champion and another in a long line of failed British heavyweights, a line only temporarily interrupted by the reign of Lennox Lewis. When I was on the canvas I was like, whoa what the hell just happened? Joshua knocked down Ruiz early in the round and the promise of an early finish seemed horizon.
One shot can change an entire fight.
Anthony Joshua stopped by Andy Ruiz Jr in stunning upset
Ruiz absolutely bullied Joshua throughout the fight and out-landed the British star, out-landing Joshua 56-47 in total punches. Anthony Joshua came to Madison Square Garden to win over U.S boxing fans they way he had mesmerized the entire United Kingdom.
The reality is that this development likely ends up being for the best as Ruiz turned the division upside down in one night, shifting the balance of power and creating yet another exciting and marketable character for a division that's undergoing a much-needed renaissance period. Ruiz himself says he will take the contest at any time.
"I didn't even ask about a rematch clause because I was so confident I was going to win". He done well. Everyone came out for a good night of boxing. He was in total control of the fight but he got sloppy and never recovered.
National Basketball Association star Kyrie Irving and rapper Meek Mill were among the celebrities in the house expecting Joshua to roll to a win and set up more ambitious, lucrative bouts against the likes of Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder and a few other potential opponents.
In the in-ring post-fight interview, as everyone involved was still in disbelief, Joshua appeared to have come to terms with that fact. (But) this was a knockout loss, it is a hard one.
"It just made me stronger". There's no excuses. I'd love to be able to stand here now and tell you [Joshua had] a awful camp or had these injuries, but it's not true.