David Tua backs Anthony Joshua to return to the top, says Joseph Parker is 'in the mix as well'

Former Samoan-Kiwi heavyweight boxer David Tua backs former world champion Anthony Joshua to bounce back after his shock defeat to Mexican-American Andy Ruiz Jr earlier this month.

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The former Samoan-Kiwi heavyweight boxer says the heavyweight division right now is "exciting." Source: 1 NEWS

The 46-year-old believes the heavyweight division has returned back to its glory days.

"It's exciting [the heavyweight division], I guess the rest is up to the individual really," Tua told 1 NEWS.

"[Anthony] Joshua when he lost the title, for me it's not a shock. For me the question was when [was Joshua going to lose]."

Tua says Ruiz Jr's win was well deserved and that he now has the platform to provide for himself and his family.

"Congratulations to [Andy] Ruiz Jr, you know it is an opportunity for him. It is not only a great win, but to look after himself and his family."

Ruiz Jr defeated Joshua via seventh round TKO, clinching the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles in the process.

Tua said there is plenty of stars in the heavyweight division that can shake things up, including Kiwi fighter Joseph Parker.

"Certainly, Tyson Fury is a very colourful character, with a lot of talent to burn. We have young Joseph in the mix as well.

"It's an exciting time now. Joshua who was a champion, now it is a great chance for him to solidify how good of a champion that he is.

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Tua said former foe Cameron visited him during his eight days of getting his traditional Samoan tattoo. Source: 1 NEWS

"It's not when you are champion but it’s when you are not doing well and when you have to come back.

"It's the same thing with Joseph and the rest of the crew [heavyweight division]."

Tua was recognised as an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit earlier this month in the Queen's Birthday Honours list for his services to boxing in 2001.

He retired from boxing in 2013, but continues to work with fighters in the Auckland community via his Onehunga gym.