ANTHONY JOSHUA shared an inspirational message after becoming the two-time heavyweight world champion.
The British star, 30, reclaimed his WBA, IBF and WBO belts with a unanimous points win over Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia last night.
And now on the morning after his professional performance inside the ring, Joshua is hoping his victory and bounce back can motivate others to keep going in their own individual battles.
Accompanying a photo in the ring holding his belts, AJ wrote: “My hope is that someone sees my page and decides not to give up. Clean hearts win.”
Joshua suffered one of the biggest shocks in heavyweight boxing history in June when he was knocked out by the unfancied Mexican-American.
But he made certain that he would be flying back to the UK with the belts by dominating Ruiz from the first bell to the last.
And his message on social media received plenty of positive replies from fans on Twitter.
One wrote: “You bounced back through pure determination and focus. I never doubted your ability to bounce back. Most importantly you are mentally strong and prove all the naysayers wrong – well done champ.”
Another said: “You’re a fantastic champion with the personality close to Muhammad Ali, you are humble. Ruiz was also humble and not a show off. He had an opportunity and took it and beat you. But you went back to the drawing board and got better. Well done to you.”
And a third added: “Your attitude and demeanour before, during and after the match was exceptional. Humble and professional at all times, you’re a credit to the sport. So pleased that you retained your belts. Well deserved. By far the most articulate and nicest guy in boxing.”
Speaking in the ring, Joshua told Sky Sports: “It’s all about preparation. One day when I release a book I will talk about my career.
“It’s all about experience – life is a rollercoaster, what do you want me to do, give up? Retire? Come on man.
“I want to thank God. Next I want to say ‘man, the first time was so nice, I had to do it twice’.
“A man like me don’t make no excuses, my boy (Dereck) Chisora said I am ready to win this if I am ready to D.I.E.”
But AJ earned extra plaudits for the respect he showed to Ruiz after the victory was confirmed.
He admitted: “I said, ‘Never give up.’
“I just told him to never give up. It’s tough.
“‘You’re a great man, first of all, and you’re a great champion as well.’
“But I told him to never give up and just keep on chasing his dream.
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“Boxing’s really tough, but he’s created his own history, he’s created his own legacy. And I created mine tonight.
“I’m glad we could both play a part in each other’s legacy.
“So I just kind of gave him a pat on the back and said, ‘I’m sure I’ll see you again.’”