Anthony Joshua has admitted that he did want a warm-up fight before his rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr.
In the aftermath of the Mexican-American’s shock win on June 1, many suggested that AJ should avoid the immediate second fight and look to rebuild before jumping back in.
However, he ultimately decided to activate his contractual right to a rematch – now scheduled for December 7 in Saudi Arabia – a clause that would have disappeared had he taken an alternative bout.
Joshua told the Pound For Pound Podcast: “The only thing is I’ve got to improve, that’s the only problem I have.
“I’ve gotta get better because the competition’s got better, the competition is more experienced.
“It’s not like I’ve been fighting loads of people getting experience, I went straight in at the deep end.
“What I’ve used to get me to the Ruiz fight was enough. But if I wanna get to that next level, I’ve run out of petrol, we’ve gotta fill up the tank again.”
When asked if he was making the case for having a warm-up fight by saying this, Joshua admitted he would’ve liked a tune-up, but explained why he’s chosen not to take one.
AJ continued: “I just think, as much as I do want to, I just think I couldn’t because of the reputation I wanna carry in boxing.”
As he considered the prospect of winning the immediate rematch, he added: “Imagine that. This is when I’m saying, ‘I can’t go and fight no lower opponents.’
“That’s what everyone expects, let’s do something different.”