Andy Ruiz vs Anthony Joshua 2: Paulie Malignaggi insists ‘AJ’ did NOT quit in first fight ahead of Saudi Arabia rematch

Paulie Malignaggi is adamant Anthony Joshua did NOT quit in his first fight with Andy Ruiz Jr.

In June, the 2012 Olympic gold medallist had his world heavyweight titles prised from his collection by the American in Madison Square Garden in a huge upset.

Andy Ruiz shocked the world and is ready to stop Anthony Joshua again
Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing UK

Ruiz knocked the champion down on four occasions to leave the Big Apple with the WBA, WBO and IBF trinkets and send Joshua into a tailspin.

During Sky Sports’ ‘The Gloves are Off’ programme in the build-up to their rematch on Saturday in Saudi Arabia, the 30-year-old told Joshua to his face he quit.

Although it was the referee that waved the contest off in New York City six months ago, the fact Joshua spat his mouthpiece out prior to the stoppage irked many critics.

Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder both voiced their frustrations at Joshua for ‘quitting’, but former two-weight world champion Malignaggi insists the Brit’s world heavyweight title win over Wladimir Klitschko proves he has the character to climb off the canvas and win.

Michael Griffin waved off the contest in New York City
Mark Robinson/Matchroom

“Joshua, mentally first of all, now he knows he can be hurt and he can be beat by this guy,” he told

“It seems like he was shocked to find himself on the canvas first time around. And I know that’s not in his character because he was on the canvas in the Klitschko fight and he got up roaring.

“So, had I not seen the Klitschko fight, I would think ‘Wow this guy can’t handle adversity’. But I’ve seen the Klitschko fight.

“So I know he can handle adversity, I just think it was more he didn’t expect to find himself in that adverse situation in that fight.

Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko produced one of the classic heavyweight fights in 2017
Getty Images – Getty

“So I think he knows he can be in an adverse situation against this guy, this guy is dangerous, so mentally he will have that edge and he will have more of a mean streak to him.

“So in case he is hurt or in bad situations again he will be over to overcome it or fight to overcome it.

“And, of course, Ruiz has that Mexican machismo where they don’t just fight for themselves; they fight to really get behind their flag.

“They want to get off the canvas, not just for themselves, but because they know the pride of their country, the fighters that came before them from that culture is what they pride themselves on.

The Brit scored the first knockdown of the fight with a sensational left hook
Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing UK

“So Ruiz isn’t going to go away quietly just on the fact that he’s a Mexican fighter and he’ll want to live up to that expectation and that standard that’s been left behind by so many great Mexican fighters.”

‘The Magic Man’ was speaking from the BT Tower shortly after the quarter-final draw for the Ultimate Boxxer 6 heavyweight tournament later this month.

Five of Britain’s top 20 heavyweights will battle it out next month for the Golden Robe, including Jonathan Palata, Danny Whitaker, Kamil Sokolowski, Nick Webb, Chris Healey, Josh Sandland and Mark Bennett.

Ultimate Boxxer will be shown live on BT Sport 1 and the BT Sport YouTube Channel at 8pm on 13th December. Tickets are nearly sold out, the last remaining are available at

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