Andy Ruiz Jr has advised Anthony Joshua to take a break from boxing should he lose their highly anticipated rematch in December.
Joshua was stunned by the Mexican after being unable to continue past the seventh round at Madison Square Garden in June.
The Nigerian-born British former heavyweight champion lost his IBF, IBO, WBA (Super) and WBO world heavyweight titles as Ruiz Jnr produced one of the biggest upsets in boxing history.
Both boxers are, however, billed for a rematch in Saudi Arabia, where Joshua will get a chance to avenge the sole blemish on his 23-fight record.
Ruiz Jr, who believes he can defeat Joshua once again, told Sky Sports UK that the British boxer should step away from the ring if he fails to regain his world titles on December 7.
“I think he should take a little break if I beat him,” Ruiz Jr said.
“Let him recuperate, but one or two losses are not going to make a difference.
“He’s still a warrior, he’s still a great fighter, and I’m sure he’ll bounce back.”
As the new unified champion, Ruiz Jr has propelled himself to the top of the division, with Joshua acknowledging him as the world’s No 1 ahead of WBC champion Deontay Wilder.
“It means a lot,” Ruiz Jr said. “He said that because I defeated him.”
“He was the greatest heavyweight champion of the world. He had all the belts and now I do, so it’s a big blessing to be in this position.”