Joshua vs Ruiz Jr: Anthony Joshua insists he will come back stronger after defeat

Watch repeats of Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz Jr on Sunday at 5.30pm on Sky Sports Box Office

Anthony Joshua looks on before his fight against Andy Ruiz Jr during their IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight title fight at Madison Square Garden on June 01, 2019 in New York City 1:46
Anthony Joshua says he will bounce back following the shock defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr in New York on Saturday

Anthony Joshua says his shock defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr is a genuine test of his character, but insists he has come too far in boxing to fold under pressure.

The Briton suffered his first professional defeat, on his US debut, as he was knocked down four times before a seventh-round stoppage at New York's Madison Square Garden to lose his IBF, WBO and WBA 'Super' world heavyweight titles.

Joshua is now expected to fight Mexico's first heavyweight champion, Ruiz Jr, in a rematch later this year with promoter Eddie Hearn targeting the second fight to be held in the UK.

Anthony Joshua
Image: Referee Mike Griffin stopped the fight in the seventh round

"This is part of a journey I am on. This is boxing and what I have to do is reevaluate the situation," Joshua said in his post-fight news conference.

"Make it better and we go again. We didn't come this far to stop, fold under pressure.

"We came this far and I feel we can definitely go a lot further."

 Andy Ruiz Jr beats Anthony Joshua 1:13
Watch highlights as Joshua is stunned by Ruiz Jr at Madison Square Garden in New York

Joshua admits he was beaten by the "better man" on the night as his hopes of setting up blockbuster fights against Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury suffered an unforeseen complication.

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"Hunger is about life, not just boxing. That doesn't leave me. I am grinding," he said.

"I am ready to get back to work tomorrow - this is who I am."

Joshua had won all 22 of his previous bouts, but the 29-year-old says his full focus will now be on ensuring that when he returns to the ring he is celebrating becoming a heavyweight champion of the world once again.

preview image 2:25
Joshua says he will exercise his rematch clause with Ruiz Jr and the Mexican is only a champion for now

"If this was the end of the road I would say yes, but for me, it is [about] what is next," he added.

"It is just a minor setback. The locks on the doors don't change.

"We are still family, we still love the sport, still a champion and we bounce back and rectify it and get my hands back on those belts again."

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