As is often the case with heavyweight boxing, things changed in an instant for Anthony Joshua last night.
At Madison Square Garden in New York, Joshua succumbed to huge underdog Andy Ruiz Jr via TKO in the seventh round.
In the third round, it looked as though Joshua would pick up another routine victory. Instead, he was knocked down four times and suffered the first loss of his career.
Joshua went from planning unification fights with Deontay Wilder and chasing Tyson Fury to out of the picture in one night.
Now, he needs to regain his titles in the contracted rematch by the end of the year to get back in that conversation.
Anthony Joshua has targeted an immediate rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr after losing his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles in a shock defeat at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
On the occasion of his US debut and despite being the significant favourite against an opponent who had been given little more than a month’s notice and had lost his only previous world title fight, Joshua suffered four knockdowns in what became a one-sided upset.
He was eventually rescued in the seventh round by referee Mike Griffin when, after returning to his feet for the fourth time – the two knockdowns in the seventh followed two similarly hurtful ones in the third, which came after Ruiz Jr’s only knockdown – he was no longer able to defend himself.