Anthony Joshua says he has been forced to make “drastic changes” to his lifestyle in a bid to win back the heavyweight titles he lost to Andy Ruiz earlier this year.
Joshua, the former IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight world champion, was knocked out by Ruiz in New York in June in one of the biggest upsets in boxing history.
Dethroned champion Joshua says the magnitude of the loss has forced him to evaluate every aspect of his life as he prepares to face Ruiz in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia on December 7th.
“There will be no aftershock after the first fight. I will be smarter. Getting knocked down was good,” Joshua told AFP.
“If I am smarter, I know I can pull it off. I don’t want to say it will be ‘Joshua 2.0 – I know what I was doing before was working, I just have to tweak little things and I will be perfect. Losing speeds up that process.
“I have made some drastic changes, lifestyle stuff. Family, circles, what is important, priorities. The effort it takes to stay on the straight and narrow is challenging. I have to understand I am aiming to be a top athlete.
“Boxing was always the easiest part for me. The struggle was always keeping my life in check. If I can do that, the boxing will fall into place.
“There were distractions away from the ring but I never complained. He beat me fair and square, I had those distractions and I now have to make it better for myself.”