Andy Ruiz Jr. has recalled the uplifting messages he received from Anthony Joshua after he was defeated in their rematch in December 2019.
The Mexican-American caused one of the biggest upsets in boxing history when he beat AJ in the summer of that year in New York to become the new unified heavyweight champion.
But just six months later the two met again in Saudi Arabia, and this time Joshua comfortably came out on top to regain his belts.
Ruiz was criticised for failing to prepare properly for the bout, with claims he had overindulged following his original win.
“I just wanted to crawl under my bed and just hide and eat Cheerios,” Ruiz said. “There were a few messages (from Joshua). We were just saying that I’d bounce back, that I’m a great fighter.
“I have nothing but love for him. I don’t have no grudges.”
Ruiz is now back in training ahead of his first fight since Saudi Arabia, with the 31-year-old set to take on Chris Arreola on May 1.
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And he added: “When I weighed-in in Saudi Arabia, I was 283lb. I easily fought at 300 pounds. Right now I’m at 258. I’m lighter than I was for the first fight.
“I’ve learned how to discipline myself and not go crazy. I don’t try to overeat like I used to.
“On the weekend, I have a cheat meal. I used to have a cheat day. So the whole day I would be eating and eating.
“(Now) No Snickers, no sweets, no cakes even though I love them so much.”