Khan Warns Joshua Against Immediate Rematch
Amir Khan advises fellow countryman and unified former heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua that he feels Joshua shouldn’t jump into an immediate rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr.
Ruiz pulled off a shocker on June 1, scoring a seventh-round TKO of Joshua en route to winning the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO championships. It is considered one of boxing’s biggest heavyweight upsets along the lines of Mike Tyson vs. Buster Douglas and Lennox Lewis vs. Hasim Rahman.
Joshua has exercised his immediate rematch clause, and his promoter, Eddie Hearn, has said a second fight is in the works for November or December in the U.K.
Khan, however, says Joshua should take a tune-up fight or two before going into a rematch. He adds he’s shocked Hearn would allow Joshua to do such.
“When I heard he was doing that I thought it was the worst mistake he could make,” Khan said to Declan Taylor. “Look, first of all, Ruiz will be full of confidence going into this fight and you’ve got Joshua who will be a little bit on the edge and on the back foot knowing that he can be hurt and put down. I think it’s a very bad to take back-to-back and I can’t believe Eddie is putting him straight back into the mix with him. I think he needs a nice easy knockout win – maybe two – and then have the rematch.
“Joshua seemed to be quite chilled and he came across well after the fight but mentally you are upset. It kills you, to bits. You might not show that – you might be so straight-faced and strong that you might not show it. But deep down, he must be in bits, definitely. He was the heavyweight champion but I bet he cried that night. When you’ve lost all them titles it’s like you’ve lost your babies. With me, I lost friends. Friends who were big supporters of mine turned around and said I was finished. People stop answering your calls, the big contracts leave you. I had contracts with Reebok, who were paying me a lot of money, and they just washed their hands of me. They said ‘see ya later.’
“Mate, it happens too quickly. That’s why boxing is the hardest and most brutal sport. If you lose in boxing they throw you under the bus. Even though you’re more upset than they could ever be, they are the cherry on top by taking things away from you. Then people talk shit about you. Anthony will tell you himself, it’s a very dark place when you get beat. It doesn’t make it easier when your friends desert you and only a handful of people stay with you. I saw it after the Canelo fight. When I lost that Canelo fight a lot of my team left me, a lot of my friends left me. I had to rebuild myself.”
Khan will return to action on July 12, taking on Neeraj Goyat in Saudi Arabia.
Original Story: Boxing Scene