The British fighter was sensationally beaten by Mexican Andy Ruiz Jr in a big heavyweight upset at Madison Square Garden in New York earlier on.
Joshua was beaten in seven dramatic rounds and was floored four times by his opponent, with the end result of the fight being considered one of the biggest ever surprises in the history of boxing.
The 29-year old, who had been unbeaten before the fight and was the world heavyweight champion, has lost his IBF, WBA and WBO titles as a consequence of the loss against Ruiz Jr. He’s now suffered a major setback in his plan to dominate a division which included Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury.
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) June 2, 2019
The first signs of defeat for Joshua began to appear at the start of the third round.
Joshua floored Ruiz Jr with a left hook and looked in total control of the fight but as he was trying to finish off the fight, Joshua was caught cold by his opponent and was sent to the canvas for the very first time since the classic against Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley.
Once Joshua stood back up on his feet, he seemed to be disorientated and that’s where Ruiz Jr pounced, sending his opponent to the ground for a second time. Joshua managed to stand back up once more and was saved by the bell for the end of the round.
But at this point in time of the match, there was almost no way back for Joshua and Ruiz Jr took advantage with a body shot in the sixth.
— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyfjoshua) June 2, 2019
The Mexican-American challenger let his hands go in the seventh round and an overhand right had Joshua crashing down for the third time. It looked like a lost cause at this point but Joshua stood up again, only to hit the canvas for a fourth time with his gum-shield out, unable to hold himself up any longer.
The shock harks back to Mike Tyson’s infamous loss to the unfancied Buster Douglas in 1990, or Lennox Lewis’ defeats to Oliver McCall and Hasim Rahman.
Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn immediately signalled their intention to rematch Ruiz Jr later this year.