Tyson Fury has achieved the rank of best heavyweight in the world after the latest rankings saw Anthony Joshua slip three places down, below the ‘Gypsy King’ and American rival, Deontay Wilder.
The rankings, published by Ring Magazine, showed the effect of Joshua’s first defeat as a professional, the first blemish inflicted on his record by Andy Ruiz Jr.
A seventh-round stoppage at the prestigious Madison Square Garden saw Ruiz Jr crowned unified heavyweight champion, the first Mexican-American to do so.
Ruiz Jr’s gain came at the loss of three world titles for Joshua, who has been demoted from no.1 to no.4 in the rankings, one place behind the man who handed him his first loss.
Joshua’s compatriot, Dillian Whyte, finishes off the top five, and with a fight against Oscar Rivas coming up this month, Whyte will have an opportunity to put some pressure on the leading four in the heavyweight division.
Tyson Fury, who previously held the Ring Magazine belt, spoke out against Joshua to ESPN radio after the defeat that left him as the top-ranked heavyweight:
Fury said: “He’ll never live it down. Can you imagine? You’re built like an Adonis, you’re six-foot-six, you’re ripped, carved in stone, and a little fat man who has eaten every Snickers and Mars bar in California comes in there and bladders you all over? What a disgrace. If that was me, I would never show my face in public ever
Rumours of a pre-bout panic attack have been circulating, but Joshua has denied worries:
“I had no panic attack. I have to take my loss like a man. No blaming anyone or anything. There have been a lot of accusations and worries about what was wrong with me. I want to tell you this: I am a soldier and I have to take my ups and my downs – and on Saturday I took a loss.”
Joshua has already triggered his rematch clause and will look to have reclaimed his world titles by the end of the year.