Skip to content

How Anthony Joshua overcame Andy Ruiz Jr anxiety

World heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua was speaking on the new Sky Sports podcast Sidelines

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Anthony Joshua watches the last two Deontay Wilder knockouts and delivers his verdict

Anthony Joshua has explained how "absorbing information" allowed him to recover from the "stormy times" of his shock loss to Andy Ruiz Jr.

Joshua bounced back to reclaim the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles from Ruiz Jr, six months after the first defeat of his career.

He told Sky Sports' Sidelines podcast about psychological lessons learned in 2019.

"Now I understand that the good has to come with the bad," the 30-year-old said. "It can't be sunshine forever, there have to be stormy times as well.

"I went through a rough patch but I dealt with it, and it taught me a lot."

Asked what advice he would give to anybody battling anxiety, Joshua said: "Absorb as much information as you can. Learn to be an outgoing person so people give you information.

Also See:

"Information is key - it used to be reserved for kings and queens but now we have access. Absorb that. It will help you in that anxiety moment because subconsciously there might be one piece of information that gets you through.

"If you're someone who makes decisions by yourself, trust in your ability and instinct. The mind will play tricks but you have to take control and trust your gut instinct."

Sidelines by Sky Sports
Sidelines by Sky Sports

Anthony Joshua and Ovie Soko among the guests on new Sky Sports podcast

Joshua explained the sink-or-swim moment of a ring-walk for his world heavyweight title fights.

He said: "What if I turned around and said: 'I can't do this?' Everybody is there. The opponent is in the ring.

"You've come too far, so you have to just deal with the anxiety.

"Once you walk down that path you have burned the bridge behind you, so you might as well dominate."

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Anthony Joshua looks backs on an eventful year and lets us know how a world heavyweight champion spends their Christmas Day

Joshua explained how he embraces being in the public eye by using his position for more than boxing success.

"I don't want to be remembered for 10 years then fade out," he said. "I want to make a mark on eternity.

"Be dedicated to yourself. That's not about boxing. Have I read? Have I educated myself? Once I've ticked those boxes I can walk into work and perform."

Joshua's passion remains "boxing and training" but investing time into mindfulness aided his preparation to beat Ruiz Jr in their rematch.

"I listen to a lot of talks or podcasts with insight into how to be strong and stay focused and channel my emotions. I am a sponge that absorbs," he said.

"Every morning and when I get ready for bed. It plays in the background so subconsciously I take in the information."

Around Sky