COBRA BYE Anthony Joshua was permanently ‘scarred’ by Andy Ruiz and could soon say ‘goodbye’ to boxing, says Carl Froch
ANTHONY JOSHUA’S spectacular defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr left him permanently “scarred” – so much so he could soon walk away from the sport, Carl Froch has claimed.
AJ was battered by short-notice foe Ruiz Jr in his ill-fated American debut in June 2019, suffering four knockdowns on his way to a seventh-round TKO defeat.
Joshua, 33, exacted his revenge in their rematch six months later and scored a brutal knockout of Kubrat Pulev before suffering back-to-back defeats to Oleksandr Usyk.
The former two-time unified heavyweight champion has been accused of showing a lack of killer instinct since that fateful night at Madison Square Garden, which British boxing great Froch believes has a had lasting effect.
The Cobra told William Hill: “When you’ve made it and you’re world champion and you’re pretty much financially secure, you start to almost question being a boxer.
“I think that’s Anthony Joshua ’s problem now. He got beat up by Andy Ruiz Jr and that’s mentally scarred him – he knows he can get hurt, he knows he can get stopped.”
Joshua’s route back to world title contention is a long one following his second consecutive decision defeat to Usyk in August.
And Froch wouldn’t be surprised if the Olympic gold medallist calls it a day in the near future.
He said: “AJ’s got to be worth £100million, minimum. If you’ve got what you want out of life and you’ve achieved it, why are you going to go back into the ring and get your head punched in?
“Why would you? It’s a dangerous sport. You have to weigh up whether the risk is worth the reward.
“‘What am I fighting for? Some more money that I don’t need and that I’ll never spend? What’s the risk?’ It could be goodbye.”
Froch had the same conversation with himself after his knockout of George Groves at Wembley in the summer of 2014.
He said: “I just think when you get to a certain level in boxing and you’ve made your money, and your legacy is secure, like me when I boxed at Wembley and chinned Groves, I had nothing else left to do.
“You’re at the top of that mountain and all you can do is go down over the other side.”
Joshua dismissed the notion of retirement after his Saudi showdown with Usyk and is set to return to the ring early next year.
And promoter Eddie Hearn recently revealed AJ is leaning towards a trilogy fight with Dillian Whyte for his comeback bout.
He told The DAZN Boxing Show: “In terms of names, talking to [Joshua] the other day, he wants to fight Dillian Whyte, really.
“Dillian Whyte fights on November 26 against [Jermaine] Franklin, who is talking a tremendous game, and we’ll see how that plays out.
“I think Dillian Whyte is the frontrunner [for Joshua] if he comes through.
“Otto Wallin is a guy that has reached out numerous times.
“That’s a good fight for him as well. Then there’s the [Deontay] Wilder situation.
“I’m not saying that’s going to be the fight for January or February, but it’s definitely a fight that he’s looking at.
“The feeling for AJ is the value of – and by the way, none of them are easy fights – a tune-up is sometimes they’re as dangerous as each other.
“I don’t think he wants to start dropping out of the top 15 and top 10 of the governing bodies and just looking for an easy touch. I think he wants a real fight, and those are all real fights that you could see.”