ANTHONY JOSHUA insists Wladimir Klitschko is the hardest puncher he has faced – despite being KO’d by Andy Ruiz Jr.
All eyes now switch to December when AJ gets his chance of redemption when he rematches Ruiz in Saudi Arabia.
Back in June Joshua was floored four times on the way to a crushing seventh-round KO defeat to the unfancied Mexican.
And with that went all his world titles on a stunning night of heavyweight boxing.
It wasn’t the first time the Brit had been floored in the professional ranks.
Back in April 2017 Joshua was sent crashing to the canvas by boxing legend Klitschko – but maintained his focus to stop the Ukrainian in the 11th round.
‘CONCUSSION ON THE BACK OF THE HEAD’
And AJ is adamant Dr Steelhammer hits harder than the reigning unified heavyweight champ.
Speaking on the Pound For Pound Podcast, Joshua, 29, said: “Who’s hit me the hardest? Yeah, Klitschko.
“I was gonna say Ruiz, but when he hit me that was like a concussion on the back of my head.
“When I went in with Klitschko, yeah, I just knew this could go two ways.
“I could either win or I’m gonna be laid out on my back. You know when you get carried out on a stretcher?”
TRAINER SLAMMED BY BRAIN CHARITY
SunSport has reported on the shocking claim by Joshua’s trainer Rob McCracken that he KNEW his man was concussed after the first knockdown by Ruiz.
And it has prompted a furious reaction from brain injury experts, who claim Joshua could have DIED because the cornerman did not throw in the towel.
Brain injury charity Headway slammed McCracken for failing to protect his man.
Deputy chief executive Luke Griggs told SunSport: “It’s a shocking admission but it’s highly unlikely that this is an isolated incident.
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“Trainers have a duty of care to their boxers and it seems clear that Anthony Joshua’s trainer’s sole priority was winning that fight, not protecting the fighter from a potentially fatal injury.
“We know once you’ve had a concussion, any subsequent blow can exacerbate the damage. You are most at risk of having a particularly serious or fatal brain injury if the brain has already been damaged and a concussion has already been sustained.
“In that point, he was particularly vulnerable to a more serious injury. One wonders how many deaths in the ring over the years have resulted from a win-at-all-costs mentality.”