By Hans Themisode
First they love you, then they quickly forget about you.
In just a few months time, former unified Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has become a forgotten man.
Just before he stepped into the ring with Andy Ruiz Jr on June 1st, at Madison Square Garden, Joshua was viewed as the best Heavyweight on the planet. He had the best resume and credentials to back it up as well.
Joshua only turned pro in 2013, but he was quickly running through the division. In a timespan of four years, Joshua knocked out long reigning champion Wladimir Klitschko, Dillian Whyte, Dominic Breazeale and Charles Martin. In short, he was the man to beat in the division.
Wins over Joseph Parker, Alexander Povetkin and Carlos Takam only strengthened this claim.
There was only one issue with what Joshua was doing. Every single one of his wins were taking place in the United Kingdom. Sure they were impressive, but who really cares? He was a virtual unknown in America and seemed hesitant to make the trek over here.
Everything changed when Joshua decided it was time to head over to America. The previously mentioned thought of Joshua not being a star in America weren’t exactly true as fans came in droves to see him take on little known Andy Ruiz Jr.
By now you have heard of it. The upset that literally shock the entire sports world. Ruiz would go on to climb off the deck in the third round to drop Joshua twice in the same round. He would repeat the same process again in the seventh en route to a stoppage win.
Before the contest, Ruiz was viewed as just a stepping stone. Joshua would receive minimal credit at best for defeating him. Now that Ruiz has pulled off the upset in their encounter, Joshua wants a whole new level of respect when he defeats him in their rematch will take place on December 7th, in Saudi Arabia.
“I’m fighting the best man in the world now. I’m going to whup him. I’ll show how great I am,” said Joshua. “They think he’s so great. So when I beat him I want everybody to bow to my feet and tell me how great I am.”
It makes a ton of sense doesn’t it?
Let’s be honest here. If Joshua was to do what was expected of him the first time around, no one would have batted an eye. Now that Ruiz is widely viewed by many to be the best in the division, he wants his respect.
“I couldn’t beat Ruiz Jr before and get the credit I deserved. Apparently I’m fighting the quickest hands. The best fighter in the division. So once I beat him I want everybody to bow to me.”
In order for Joshua to gain this other worldly amount of respect he is looking for, he will need to get past Andy Ruiz Jr on December 7th. If the first fight was any indication however, that task won’t be an easy one for Joshua.