Mihai Nistor: The Boxer Who Knocked Out Anthony Joshua Before Andy Ruiz Jr.

Published 01/04/2021, 9:30 AM EST
RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA – DECEMBER 03: Anthony Joshua looks on ahead of the IBF, WBA, WBO & IBO World Heavyweight Title Fight between Andy Ruiz Jr and Anthony Joshua during the Clash On The Dunes Public Work Out at Public at the Investment Fund office complex on December 03, 2019 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)


Unified world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua faced the maiden professional defeat at the hands of an underdog in Andy Ruiz Jr. ‘AJ’ bounced back to reclaim his title in convincing fashion courtesy of a decision win.

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That said, ‘The Destroyer’ isn’t the only one to have stopped Joshua inside a boxing ring. Before turning a professional, ‘AJ’ faced a similar outcome when he encountered Romanian boxer Mihai Nistor at the European Championships in 2011.

A young Anthony Joshua lost the amateur fight via TKO. But he bounced back and claimed the gold medal for his country at the 2012 Olympics.

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Boxing – Heavyweight World Title Fight – Anthony Joshua v Kubrat Pulev – The SSE Arena, London, Britain – December 12, 2020 Anthony Joshua celebrates winning his fight against Kubrat Pulev Pool via REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge

Let’s look back at Joshua’s other and relatively unknown TKO loss.

Anthony Joshua- The TKO loss before his professional career

Joshua and Nistor locked horns in an amateur bout where both had headgears. While a young Joshua looked confident, he got caught with a couple of sleek jabs in the very beginning. The first two rounds went close and Nistor baffled Joshua with some good shots.

The third round began on a similar note where Nistor troubled ‘AJ’. Although Joshua was on his feet, he couldn’t offer much in response. That said, Nistor landed more haymakers in the round until the referee waved off the fight in his favor.

Joshua went towards his opponent’s corner, and it was mutual respect between them. Today, both the boxers are in the professional circuit, but it’s Anthony Joshua who reached the top with his unprecedented dominance.

30-year-old Mihai Nistor became a professional boxer in 2019 and is on a 2-fight win streak with 2 KOs. Although he beat Joshua as an amateur, he will have to climb the ladder to face him now.

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Having held the WBA, WBO, IBF, and IBO world titles, Joshua is gunning for the WBC belt with a unification fight against Tyson Fury in 2021. So, Nistor is nowhere near him and the rematch at a professional level is far from meeting fruition.

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Do you think Mihai Nistor can beat Anthony Joshua again if they were to fight?

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Raj Sarkar

1637 articles

A senior boxing writer at EssentiallySports, Raj Sarkar is a mass media graduate who is currently pursuing his master’s degree in broadcast journalism. In addition to his current role, he has worked with the MMA team at EssentiallySports and has interviewed prominent fighters such as Ritu Phogat and 'The Red King' Rory MacDonald. He combined his bachelor's degree with his adoration for combat sports and has a combined 2000 plus bylines in MMA and boxing over the last two years.

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