Tyson Fury’s promoter, Bob Arum, has claimed that Anthony Joshua is not among boxing’s elite heavyweights following his shock loss to Andy Ruiz Jr.
Joshua suffered one of the biggest heavyweight upsets when he was floored four times by Andy Ruiz before eventually being defeated in the seventh round by Ruiz.
He however won a return bout six months later to reclaim his WBA, IBF, WBO AND IBO titles.
But Bob Arum still believes the initial defeat carries a scar, and that it has damaged Joshua’s reputation, having labelled Ruiz a ‘non-puncher’.
“I’m not thrilled with Joshua” he told journalist Gareth A Davies via The Sun.
“I don’t think much of Joshua, because every time the name Joshua is mentioned, I see him laying on the canvas after getting hit by a non-puncher like Andy Ruiz.
“I’m telling you the truth. I may be underestimating Joshua, but I’m not convinced that Joshua is an elite heavyweight.”
A bout between Fury and Joshua would be one of the most highly anticipated clashes in recent times and an August 14 meeting in the Middle East looked set to be confirmed before it was abandoned late on. Arum said,
“This is no disrespect to him, Anthony Joshua means next to nothing in the United States with the boxing community.
“All they remember of Anthony Joshua is his one fight in the United States where he got knocked out by a non-puncher like Andy Ruiz, that view of Anthony Joshua will not change easily.
“So, if Anthony Joshua fought Tyson Fury in the United States, it wouldn’t do nearly as well as Tyson Fury’s upcoming fight with Deontay Wilder.
“He’s not a personality, he doesn’t come through to the US public.
“It may very well be different the way he connects with the UK public, but he doesn’t connect with the American public.”