Report: Anthony Joshua 'Hurt Badly' in Sparring Before Andy Ruiz Jr. Knockout

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJune 4, 2019

Anthony Joshua waits during the referee's count after he was knocked down during the seventh round of a heavyweight championship boxing match against Andy Ruiz on Saturday, June 1, 2019, in New York. Ruiz won in the seventh round. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

Anthony Joshua reportedly was "hurt badly" during a training session with boxer Joey Dawejko prior to his fight against Andy Ruiz Jr. at Madison Square Garden in New York last Saturday, per World Boxing News.

World Boxing News reported Dawejko knocked Joshua down while sparring, which "visibly marked his face."

Joshua's promoter, Eddie Hearn, has denied that the boxer was injured during the sparring session. 

"Absolutely there is no truth that he was badly hurt in sparring, there were no health concerns going into the fight," Hearn said, according to Gareth A. Davies of The Telegraph.

Entering the fight undefeated at 22-0, Joshua stepped into the ring as a heavy favorite against Ruiz. However, Ruiz shocked the world by knocking Joshua down multiple times in the seventh round, ultimately winning via TKO:

With that, Ruiz (33-1) became the first heavyweight champion of Mexican descent as he took his opponent's WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles.

The result of the fight led to boxing star Manny Pacquiao calling it "one of the biggest upsets in boxing history":

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Per ESPN's Ariel Helwani, Hearn said on Saturday that there will be a rematch in November or December in the United Kingdom.