By Andrew Atkinson
Anthony Joshua’s unanimous world heavyweight boxing win against Andy Ruiz jnr in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, has been praised by Paul Butlin – who fought AJ in only his second pro fight in 2013.
“I can’t believe how many people are slagging Joshua off,” Paul told me.
AJ’s defeat against Ruiz jnr in June lead to him losing his WBA, WBO and IBF world heavyweight titles, after being stopped inside round seven at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
“Why get into a row with someone who stopped you in the last fight?,” said Paul.
AJ regained the heavyweight division – putting his career back on track – outboxing Ruiz jnr in the rematch, with a unanimous decision on December 7.
All three judges in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, registrred scores of 118-110, 118-10 and 119-109.
“Joshua boxed superbly with the jab – up on his toes – all the way through the fight,” said Paul.
“I wanted to put on a great master class and show that the sweet science of this sport is about hitting – and not getting hit,” said Joshua.
“It was his night – I have no excuses. Anthony Joshua did a hell of a job,” said Ruiz jnr.
AJ faced criticism from some quarters in victory, but Paul, son of Barry and Elaine Butlin who live in Los Montesinos, said: “Joshua has not got a bad chin.
“It’s the fact he’s fighting the best in the world, who can all bang. If you commit to every punch – you will get caught.”
On AJ’s critiques, Paul said: “If you don’t understand – stick to football or darts – you smokers.”