Wilder: Joshua Quit vs. Ruiz
WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder says he’s still open to a fight with Anthony Joshua, but he claims Joshua quit the night he was upset by Andy Ruiz Jr.
Ruiz defeated Joshua for the WBA/IBF/WBO/IBO heavyweight titles back on June 1 in Joshua’s U.S. debut at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Joshua dropped Ruiz early in the third round, but Ruiz came back to drop Joshua twice that same round and twice again in the seventh.
After the fourth and final knockdown, Joshua spit out his mouthpiece and went into his corner during the count. The referee called on for Joshua to box before ultimately waving off the fight despite Joshua giving a verbal positive answer to continuing.
The loss, Joshua’s first, heavily damaged a fight between him and Wilder that could have been two undefeated champions battling for the undisputed heavyweight championship. The two sides had failed in negotiations twice before — with 2018 ending in disputes over minor details and the WBA mandating for Joshua to face Alexander Povetkin, and Wilder turning down a DAZN deal to remain with Showtime early this year.
Wilder told TalkSPORT he wasn’t surprised Ruiz, his Premier Boxing Champions stablemate, was able to bring it to Joshua. He adds while he feels Joshua isn’t a quitter as a boxer, he threw in his towel on that night based on his body language.
“I wasn’t amazed at all. I knew Ruiz had some great skills and knew Joshua would be up for a test,” Wilder said. “He had never been over in the USA in his professional career and there was so much going on in the heavyweight division, like my performance in my fight. I could see how pressure was added to it. I think Ruiz beat him too easily. I don’t think Joshua won’t know how he lost right now.
“In my opinion, Joshua quit. He spit the mouthpiece out – that is one sign. That is an easy old trick. He looked to the corner — a sign he was looking for a way out. I don’t think he is a quitter but he quit that night.”
Wilder added he is still interested in facing Joshua, as well as Ruiz, as he wants to say he has fought all of the best fighters before retiring and wants to keep the heavyweight division exciting.
Ruiz-Joshua II is expected for the end of this year, while Wilder is expected to defend his WBC title against Ortiz late this year as well before an anticipated rematch with Tyson Fury in early 2020.