Anthony Joshua: Rebuild needed before Ruiz Jr rematch - Amir Khan

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Joshua should not fight Ruiz straight away - Khan

Anthony Joshua should consider taking "one or two fights" to rebuild before facing Andy Ruiz Jr in a rematch, says Amir Khan.

Joshua, 29, lost his IBF, WBO and WBA world heavyweight titles to Ruiz in a massive upset in New York on 1 June.

Khan said that when he lost for the first time in 2008, it proved "the best thing that ever happened to me" as it prompted a "rebuild".

"I don't think he should fight Ruiz straight away," said Khan, 32.

"If he fights him again, it will be very hard to overcome that. I thought it would be very good for Joshua to have one or two fights to rebuild himself and his confidence.

"Not that he needs it but while you have the opportunity to do that, you might as well.

"In boxing, people just want to see you in harder and harder fights. Had he won, people would want him in with Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury.

"He's so young as a heavyweight, this would give him a chance to improve on things and come back stronger.

"Then when it does come to be time for Wilder and Fury, he would be more than ready. Maybe defeat by Ruiz will be a blessing for him."

'Losing was probably the best thing to happen to me'

Anthony Joshua, Andy Ruiz Jr
Anthony Joshua lost all three of his world heavyweight belts to Andy Ruiz Jr on 1 June

Joshua - whose defeat by Ruiz was the first of his career - has a contractual right to a rematch with the American-born Mexican, slated for later this year.

Khan too was stunned in 2008 by Breidis Prescott, as he was stopped for the first defeat of his career. He has since compiled a record of 33 wins and five defeats, including a world-title reign at super-lightweight.

"There's always pressure on you when you get beaten," added Khan. "You think: 'Do I still have it in me?'

"People start saying you're not what they thought you would be. That does affect you mentally. You have to use the criticism as motivation.

"Getting beaten so early in my career, I learned to build myself up again. I had to prove people wrong - and becoming a world champion was a good way to stop critics.

"It was hard to take at the time but it was probably the best thing that ever happened to me as it made me a better fighter mentally."

Khan faces Indian boxer Neeraj Goyat in Saudi Arabia on 12 July, a fixture which has drawn criticism given that Khan appears to be taking a step down in class, having fought WBO world welterweight champion Terence Crawford in his last bout.

But Khan insists he "deserves a tune-up fight" after his defeat by Crawford and still hopes to face high-calibre opponents after the contest, including WBA world welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao, who meets American Keith Thurman on 20 July.

"There are always talks about that fight," Khan said. "Let's hope he beats Keith Thurman and we will see what happens after that.

"I know this is the last chapter and this is why I wanted to fight in Saudi Arabia as I never knew if I would get the opportunity again."

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