One year on from Anthony Joshua’s shock first professional defeat at the hands of Andy Ruiz Jr, Carl Frampton has given his view on what happened that fateful night inside Madison Square Garden.
Frampton (27-2), himself a former two-weight world champion and star of some amazing live events, termed AJ’s seventh-round TKO defeat against late replacement Ruiz Jr as “the craziest night of boxing I’ve ever seen”
The Irishman was ringside for the BBC that night, and has joined the 5 Live Boxing podcast with Mike Costello and Steve Bunce to relive the occasion.
He said: “I don’t think anyone in the world expected the way to go it did. Probably the biggest night of boxing I’ever been to and a huge upset that will be talked about for years to come.”
Looking back now, Frampton can see there might have been tell-tale signs that all was not well with Joshua, as he explained: “I sat down and spoke with him for five minutes I think a couple of days before the fight. And what I noticed, he had a bit of a stye in his eye, which normally indicates that you’re rundown a bit. Didn’t really read too much into it, still expected him to go in and blow Ruiz away.”
Joshua did not look to find excuses after the fight, instead immediately going for a rematch and winning back his belts with a masterful points victory in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in December. A reaction Frampton feels he should be applauded for.
“I think what you have to give Joshua credit for, is he never really made an excuse after it but there was something not right. He just owned up to it, manned up to it and said ‘I lost the fight fair and square’. I think you have to credit him for his approach after the fight and how he took defeat.”
Frampton himself gave an insight into something boxers often have to deal with – going into fights knowing they are carrying injuries.
He revealed: “My last fight (an undisputed decision victory against Tyler McCreary in Las Vegas in November 2019), I went into it with one broken hand and came out with two broken hands. It looked like things were going well in camp and then I broke my hand the last spar. I just felt like I couldn’t pull out. I didn’t tell my wife, I didn’t tell anyone really at home – because I had to go through with the fight.
“I wasn’t allowed a pain-killing injection in Nevada, for whatever reason, I wasn’t sure why they wouldn’t allow that. So I went into the fight with a broken left hand, which is my good hand – my jab hand, the one I do all the damage with. And then I broke my right hand I think about round seven.”