David Price warns Anthony Joshua against facing Andy Ruiz Jr straight away in rematch
Price: "I think it's a massive risk because Andy Ruiz is a quality operator, fast hands and he puts his shots together really well"
By Peter Gilbert
Last Updated: 07/06/19 5:48pm
Anthony Joshua is taking a "massive risk" if he jumps straight back in the ring with Andy Ruiz Jr, warns David Price.
Joshua lost his WBA, WBO and IBF titles in one of the biggest heavyweight upsets in years after being dropped four times and stopped in seven rounds by Ruiz Jr at Madison Square Garden on June 1.
The Londoner has triggered a rematch clause in a bid to regain his titles but fellow heavyweight Price has warned against facing Ruiz Jr straight away.
Price suffered his first defeat in the pro ranks when he was knocked out by Tony Thompson in two rounds and then five months later was stopped in five by the American southpaw.
"If I had my time again, I wouldn't have taken a rematch with Tony Thompson at all, never mind straight away," Price told Sky Sports.
"Certain people around me were advising me not to but because you're a fighter and you've got your pride and you want to go and put it right straight away.
"But sometimes you've got to listen to your head rather than your heart.
"I think it's a massive risk because Andy Ruiz is a quality operator, fast hands and he puts his shots together really well.
"Joshua seemed to struggle with the compactness, the shortness of Ruiz, his hand speed. If someone has got fast hands, they're the punches you don't see coming. If someone is a big heavy puncher, you can anticipate and brace for the punch and it helps absorb the shot better.
"Any fighter will tell you, the punches you don't see are the ones that will knock you out, buzz you or daze you.
"He's going to have to be completely switched on for the 12 rounds and not exchange at all, especially mid-range where Ruiz is at his best, at his quickest.
"He's got to keep it long and literally jab his way through a points victory."
There are many conspiracy rumours about why Joshua suffered his shock defeat but Price believes the reason is a lot more simple.
"The better man won on the night," added Price. "I don't know what went on behind the scenes and everyone is saying differing things but I simply put it down to Ruiz being wrong for Joshua.
"I think he struggled with the height difference, how compact and short Ruiz was, you could see he was leaning down to his height, trying to jab to the body.
"It can be awkward for a big man fighting smaller opponents, when they're a lot smaller. I know from my own experience, so I think that played a factor.
"The key for Joshua if he fights him again, is to not punch with someone who has got faster hands than you because you're more than likely to beaten to the punch, which is what happened to him.
"If he can just keep it simple and only throw when Ruiz isn't throwing, then I think he can win a points decision next time if he goes and has the rematch."