Great Britain

Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz: Briton reveals plan to become boxing coach after retirement

Anthony Joshua has revealed his desire to become a boxing coach once his own career is over.

It has been suggested that Joshua will be fighting to keep it alive on Saturday night when he collides with WBO, WBA and IBF heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr here in Saudi Arabia.

The clash is an immediate rematch of their pulsating June 1 encounter at Madison Square Garden when Ruiz floored Joshua four times en route to a seventh-round stoppage victory, inflicting the Londoner's first professional defeat.

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Joshua, who remains the poster boy of British boxing, believes that his lofty profile meant that the 'backlash' from the loss was amplified and there were sleepless nights and soul searching in the weeks that followed.

But the 6ft 6in 30-year-old insists he has now adopted a philosophical opinion on the fight and his own position in the sport. Joshua says his career is nowhere near finished regardless of what happens in the so-called Clash on the Dunes but he already has designs on staying in the sport once he hangs his gloves up.

“When I finish I think all of this stuff will have more meaning and make a good story,” he said of his career to date. “Rob [McCracken] knows I want to be a coach one day but he thinks it is so funny, he jokes I’ll be coaching them on FaceTime.

“But I want to be a coach so I can teach them about boxing. Everything I have gone through is going to help someone so I am never going to give up because people don’t support me anymore.

“The public have supported me, we talk about the 90,000 at Wembley, so when I do slip up I have to expect a bigger scale of backlash.

“I have to take the good with the bad but I am never going to listen to the good and get ahead of myself and cocky. And I am never going to listen to the bad stuff to the point that I want to give up because I cannot take the stick.”

Joshua says his training camp for this rematch with Ruiz started within three days of his return to England halfway through June but it was the opinion of his friends outside of boxing which truly got him back on track.

“I stayed in New York for two weeks after the fight and I would think about the fight at night,” he added. “But, the more you go out the more you face the reality it happened.

“I was back in the gym in three days, it is good to show your face and not be a recluse and be down and out.

“I went back saw my friends and the same people I saw before i left, it could have been difficult but it was fine.

“Some of my friends are not really boxing people and some are realists who told me ‘you effed up, you need to get back in the gym’ and I rate those people for being straight up.”

Joshua also revealed that the strategy during his training camp was partly influenced by one of his former victims, Wladimir Klitschko.

Andy Ruiz and Anthony Joshua go face to face (Getty)

The Ukrainian icon had to bounce back from three damaging stoppage defeats during the first half of his career but later went on to prove himself as one of history's great heavyweights.

Joshua said: “He does not get enough credit for everything he achieved. When I fought him, he called me a ‘cross fit’ champion and I was offended but he just knew he was better conditioned from spending more time in the ring.

“So this time we spent more time getting comfortable in the ring, moving to my left and right and understanding ring generalship.

“Klitschko told me to stay off my phone this week and not listen to too many outside influences because my own belief is what is important this week not what someone is trying to tell you on the outside.

“I am confident, very confident and I have a gameplan. I have different ways to skin the cat and am looking forward to putting it into play.”

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