Briton Anthony Joshua, who reclaimed his world heavyweight titles with a clinical victory over Andy Ruiz Jr on Sunday, says a health issue had left him exhausted and drained before his shock defeat to the Mexican-American in their first fight in June.
Having suffered a sensational first career loss when he faced the unheralded Ruiz in June, Joshua reclaimed his WBA (Super), WBO and IBF belts with a degree of comfort in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, keeping his opponent at distance for long periods on his way to a landslide points victory.
'London's calling, ' said Joshua as he reviewed his extended options now that he is enshrined as a two-time world heavyweight champion.
Kiwi heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker added to the fire, suggesting Ruiz got too comfortable with the big payday from the first bout.
The victory reinstates Joshua as a major player in boxing's most glamorous division, and instantly renews speculation about a possible unification superfight with WBC champion Deontay Wilder.More news: Naval Base Shooting Looks Like 'Terrorism,' President Trump's National Security Adviser Says
Defending champion Andy Ruiz Jr., left, takes a right cross to the face during his fight against Britain's Anthony Joshua.
Top Rank, who co-promote Pulev, are also planning to push for their man to fight Joshua next - and they expect that scenario to happen.
"I take this s- significantly". I think it sounds like it's the IBF, but we'll wait for confirmation of that. 'It's hard because of the obligations to all the organisations but I hope to have the chance to go for it at some point.' Joshua was gazing down on a world of opportunities from the windows of a 77th floor restaurant overlooking Riyadh. "We'll speak to the governing bodies and see who goes first".
'I knew if I fought smart that I'd bring the belts home, ' he says.
"Usyk? No problem", Joshua said in response.More news: Woman allegedly stung by Scorpion "several times" on United Airlines flight
"I gained too much weight".
"It's going to have to be quite quickly, because obviously now the vultures will be out, as I would be".
But having secured redemption as well as a fortune in front of a crowd in Saudi Arabia containing comparatively few Brits, he says: 'This has reminded me of the wonderful energy I draw from my fans and how important they are to my career.
"I'm sure PBC were desperately rooting for Andy to win, but we came and put a little spanner in their works". Anthony Joshua is an awesome ambassador for the sport.
Ruiz answered by saying his request for a rematch between them. Tonight, in Saudi Arabia, he becomes the two-time heavyweight champion of the world and that is handsome. It's risky. I had a gameplan, I had a strategy and I wanted to follow it through. "That is what folks need to see, and that is my mentality". He boxed me around. "So I'm just going to follow my instincts and box for myself".More news: Ryan Reynolds Says Free Guy is 'My Favorite Movie I've Ever Made'