- Says Quitting not in my DNA
BY EDMOND ODOK, ABUJA – As preparations for the December outing to reclaim his world heavyweight boxing titles in Saudi Arabia hot up, Nigerian-born British boxer, Anthony Joshua has vowed that his career as a world class pugilist is not about to end anytime soon.
Back in New York City, where Andy Ruiz Jnr stunned the world by knocking him to the canvas on his way to victory, Joshua said quitting is not in his DNA and there is no stopping him now.
With many boxing pundits seeing the rematch as a defining moment in his career, Joshua is manifesting renewed confidence ahead of their rematch holding in Diriyah, the original home of Saudi royal family.
Though there are obvious worries that another defeat by the Mexican upstart may likely leave him in disarray, Joshua remains unfazed by the pundits’ side talks and permutations.
Having been around the punching game long enough to know his strengths and shortcomings, the British boxer is currently brimming with confident, insisting that restoring normalcy in the heavyweight division is a task that he must attend to urgently.
”There were times when I faced defeat as an amateur,” Joshua said at the New York leg of the media tour to promote the bout.
”My third fight; imagine I stopped then, there would be no now. I lost in the European Championship quarter-finals. Imagine I stopped then, there would be no now.
”I lost in the World Championship finals. Imagine, I stopped then, there would be no now. Stopping isn’t in my DNA. As long as I have breath, I will keep fighting for the passion of boxing and more so as an ambassador for championship-level fighting. That’s where I belong.”
According to him, ”I was born with a fighting spirit. I know how to fight. People say, ‘you lost your titles’. I say, ‘to lose something is to never get it back’. I have a second chance on December 7. I didn’t have a warm-up fight, I’m not gun-shy.”
With speculations still running wild that Joshua underestimated Ruiz Jnr and took him lightly during their first fight, the Mexican title holder says he has no such plan to misjudge the expected heavy artillery from a fired up Joshua in Diriyah.
No doubt, New York brings fond memories for Ruiz jnr, as he became the first Mexican heavyweight boxing champion of the world. Interestingly, he is determined not to end the year with a return of the belts he took so spectacularly from Joshua in the summer.
”This is where I became the first Mexican heavyweight champion of the world,” Ruiz charged at the widely-televised media event.
Wearing a black sombrero as a nod to his country, the Mexican fighter said; “But I know Joshua wants his belts back. I know how it feels to lose – I lost to Joseph Parker when I thought I had won. Joshua can bounce back. My job is not to let him get the belts back.”
On his physical fitness for the forthcoming rematch, Ruiz Jnr said; “I’ve had doubters my whole life, telling me I’d do nothing because of my appearance. Just because of how I looked. People can now say, “if he did it, I can do it”.