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The problem with AJ now is that the magic has gone, a bit like Tyson after Douglas the big question is whether he can intimidate fights like he used to. Lennox showed how to come back from times like these but AJ now has to do the same. Listening to the interviews after the fight and the comments above about what he was saying during the fight I think he got some real strange concussion, a bit like those who can remember Murdo MacLeod getting whacked in the face by a free kick and then running around afterwards asking which way Scotland were kicking.

But he's been shown tonight that he is not invincible. I think tonight was massive for Fury, he knows he's better than Wilder (who will always have a good punch and can't be discounted) and now AJ has shown he is human. Fury is the best boxer, the best chin and I think he has just found himself top of the pile.

One final thought. The one thing this is great for is boxing - all those fights that couldn't get made have just come back on the table. If Wilder is true (and not repeating his $50m call out to AJ) in signing up with Fury then that one is done. Joshua will now have to go on the back burner but he will also have to be a bit more humble on his terms - something his challengers have said he wasn't always.

Tonight was bad for AJ but good for boxing.

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23 hours ago, CWC1983 said:

He then spoke about boxers with wasted talent and said Kirkland Laing was the best boxer he had seen. 

Totally agree with this, very sad story Kirkland - ended up a bum on the streets with serious mental health issues but a wonderful fighter in his time. He was like Naz and Herol Graham rolled into one.

If anyone hasn't read it, Steve Bunce's History of British Boxing has a good section on him, it's a great read for all those who remember the days of Harry Carpenter, Reg Gutteridge and Saturday nights watching boxing on terrestrial.

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1 minute ago, Needless said:

Bloody Nora. Never saw that coming. 

Yup, for those who lambasted Wilder - or any boxer - for only haven beaten nobodies this shows it ain't as easy as some would have you think.

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@Alpha your profile pic is more impressive than AJ’s performance against Ruiz Jr.

 

Hearn really hasn’t help AJ at all IMO - too much time finding reasons not to agree contracts for fights most fans want to see.  AJ has become ring rusty and far to gym chiselled like Frank Bruno became ( great for photo shoots but not for going 12 rounds ).

 

Lets face it that performance won’t have increased his profile in  America ( totally back fired on Hearn and PR team ). There didn’t seem to be any grit / desire/ hunger from AJ once he got caught by Ruiz Jr which is a concern.

 

However, even the likes of Tyson, Lennox etc had shock defeats in there career so its now down to how AJ responds.

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4 minutes ago, Don't Panic said:

@Alpha your profile pic is more impressive than AJ’s performance against Ruiz Jr.

 

Hearn really hasn’t help AJ at all IMO - too much time finding reasons not to agree contracts for fights most fans want to see.  AJ has become ring rusty and far to gym chiselled like Frank Bruno became ( great for photo shoots but not for going 12 rounds ).

 

Lets face it that performance won’t have increased his profile in  America ( totally back fired on Hearn and PR team ). There didn’t seem to be any grit / desire/ hunger from AJ once he got caught by Ruiz Jr which is a concern.

 

However, even the likes of Tyson, Lennox etc had shock defeats in there career so its now down to how AJ responds.

And this bloke - though to be fair the opposition was of a slightly better calibre.

 image.png.6d75aa3e69b5a5a6c348ee536f4d70ec.png

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One thing is for certain. If Joshua wins the rematch in the UK then Wilder and Fury will definitely fancy the fight. 

It's a massive wake up call for AJ. No heavyweight champion has ever retired undefeated. That's the nature of the beast. It doesn't matter how big you are, any decent heavyweight opponent who can landed punches is going to hurt. Hearn and his cronies are to blame partially for the defeat. Underestimated the opponent, thought AJ could turn up. AJ didn't have the drive to win, Ruiz Jr looked like a caged animal. 

 

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Having watched the fight, the thing I found amazing was the end. It was like Joshua gave up. For a guy who gave all that 'dig deep, be a warrior' over the years I was surprised to see him go out on his feet, pretty much alert. I'm not saying you have to get sparked to make sure but it was as much a quit as the Amir Khan fight to me - must be something in the MSG water.

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47 minutes ago, BaaLocks said:

Having watched the fight, the thing I found amazing was the end. It was like Joshua gave up. For a guy who gave all that 'dig deep, be a warrior' over the years I was surprised to see him go out on his feet, pretty much alert. I'm not saying you have to get sparked to make sure but it was as much a quit as the Amir Khan fight to me - must be something in the MSG water.

I thought he seemed out of it. He didn't seem to know he'd lost his gum shield? 

I think it took a long time to recover from round 3 and just as he's getting strength in his legs again...boom! 

That's the thing I was saying about his survival. He needed oxygen and he needed his legs back. This is where Wilder would be in a clinch. He always does. Straight away. Boxers who have achieved a hell of a lot less than AJ know how to cling on or tuck up. 

AJ's answer to turning to jelly was to exert more energy throwing hooks and to attempt a wedding dance. Totally out of his depth when it comes to hanging on. 

I think Wlad will be watching that fight thinking "why the hell didn't it empty the tank on him" 

I dunno. I guess its something they never planned for. Fair play to Ruiz for firing away after losing the first shootout

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2 hours ago, SouthStandDan said:

One thing is for certain. If Joshua wins the rematch in the UK then Wilder and Fury will definitely fancy the fight. 

It's a massive wake up call for AJ. No heavyweight champion has ever retired undefeated. That's the nature of the beast. It doesn't matter how big you are, any decent heavyweight opponent who can landed punches is going to hurt. Hearn and his cronies are to blame partially for the defeat. Underestimated the opponent, thought AJ could turn up. AJ didn't have the drive to win, Ruiz Jr looked like a caged animal. 

 

Rocky Marciano did.

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Just watched the fight again. 

AJ definitely struggling right from 3 to 7. Asking what round it is isn't that unusual but asking why he feels how he feels is alarming. That's going into Round 7 when he was actually looking like collecting himself. 

And him losing the gum shield says to me that he's just scrambled. 

Also didn't notice that his Dad was giving Hearn some grief. 

The rematch could be very tough now. Ruiz won't be favourite but he's got a lot less to do in the next 4/5 months. Joshua can't learn how to survive unless they get someone to smash him up in camp. Ruiz will have the edge mentally and physically on the inside. 

AJ should prepare to do a 12 round points victory. Stay on the jab. Stay on the back foot. Short sharp combinations. Let some bulk off maybe. He'll get criticised but in 5 years if he's sat with 32 wins and 1 defeat it will be forgotten. 

I mean Tyson does not give a feck whether he entertains. He wins boxing matches. He doesn't brawl by choice. He's been the villain. He just does what's best for him. 

Forget Wilder and belts and TV networks. Just win. Points will do. 

I really really hope Ortiz nails Wilder. He certainly could do. He's a bit slow and he's not as fit as Wilder. But it will shut that tool up and the HW division will be more wide open than it has in well over a decade. 

I don't know why every era of HW boxing gets criticised. This bunch here could leave a great legacy if they fight. 

Usyk, Ortiz, Wilder, Parker, Whyte, Joshua, Povetkin, Pulev, Fury, Gassiev, Ruiz Jnr.... 

And there's a handful of guys on the way up. 

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7 hours ago, Alpha said:

Joshua can't learn how to survive unless they get someone to smash him up in camp. 

Aparrently the eye injury he got in camp was from a huge knock out in sparring. 

Some saying he hasn't recovered.

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1 hour ago, Norman said:

Aparrently the eye injury he got in camp was from a huge knock out in sparring. 

Some saying he hasn't recovered.

If true wonder who just cost him his unified belts and American profile

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I do remember Bunce commenting last week that AJ had a few nicks and cuts but the eye thing was apparently a sty. I'm not buying the knockout story mainly because the biggest problem seemed to be he got gassed. Wouldn't be surprised to hear them claim something like a viral illness diagnosed but the truth is that the issue was being whacked in the mid riff for four rounds.

Actually, the person who won that fight was Wilder, if this fight had been a year ago I feel AJ would have done just like he did with Parker and jabbed his way to a boring points win, it was the obvious tactic. It'll probably what he will do, as @Alpha suggests, in a rematch but even if he does he's going to have to learn to survive trouble at some point beyond that. He could do worse than watching a bit of Fury to see an expert in action.

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20 minutes ago, BaaLocks said:

 I'm not buying the knockout story mainly because the biggest problem seemed to be he got gassed. 

 

That's what happens when you are concussed. If you were already concussed, a smack on the temple will stop your ability to recover.

Joshua says it was an injury from his physio. Yeah, ok then.

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His clowning around has probably disarmed Tom Schwarz. That's what it's designed to do anyway because I don't believe for 1 second Tyson would take his eye off the ball. 

The guy is all over the place until it comes to boxing and then he's always got unrivalled mind games. 

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Class from Fury. What a showman. I really want him to have another crack at Wilder, he looks in much better shape, I see him comfortably beating him.

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