Andy Ruiz Jr. Becomes the First Mexican Heavyweight Champion of the World… He Stunned Anthony Joshua on the British Fighter’s US debut… What Now for Boxing’s Most Glamorous Division?
Let this be a lesson to promoters around the world. Deontay Wilder v Anthony Joshua was put off and put off for financial reasons as they tried to drive up the price. Now it’s probably never going to happen. Sensationally, ‘AJ’ was destroyed in New York’s Madison Square Garden, on his first foray into the US.
It wasn’t meant to be this way. He took on a late replacement in Andy Ruiz Jr. Most expected Ruiz to be game but another easy mark for the Adonis-like Joshua. It did not turn out that way at all as Joshua’s conditioning appeared to let him down throughout the fight as he was dropped multiple times.
Now Ruiz is the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO champion of the world. He is probably going to face the British boxer in a rematch because of a clause in the fight contract. What a moment for the new champion.
Andy Ruiz Jr. took Anthony Joshua's heavyweight championship 😤
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 2, 2019
Ruiz came through some adversity in this one. He went down himself in third but recovered to put Joshua down twice before the end of the frame. If you judged them based on their physiques you’d be forgiven for thinking Ruiz would be the one gassing out, but ‘AJ’ began to breath heavy. In the seventh stanza, Ruiz poured it on. He knocked Joshua down not once but twice.
Joshua went into his corner during the ten counts the second time around and was visibly struggling to regain his breath. He wasn’t able to continue and the referee waved off the fight. It’s a stunning upset that ranks up there with Buster Douglas beating Mike Tyson. Joshua might not be in the latter’s class, but he was an overwhelming favourite.
— Steven CFC (@StevenRisley2) June 2, 2019
While more will naturally be made of Joshua’s flaws and whatever went wrong for the British superstar, Ruiz deserves the respect for what he’s just achieved. It’s a phenomenal upset and he’s just ignited the heavyweight division. The promoters thought they could control it, but this is boxing and one night can end dreams.
“I just feel so good, man,” said Ruiz. “This is what I have been dreaming about. This is what I have been working hard for. I can’t believe I just made my dreams come true.”
It may also bring us closer to a unified championship. If Ruiz can get past Joshua a second time, he’ll surely be much easier to negotiate with than the Brit.
— Samantha Moncada (@Samantha16188) June 2, 2019
Remarkably one of Joshua’s former main rivals from his own country had some positive words for the dethroned champion. Tyson Fury is a man who knows all about adversity and he struck a very respectful tone when he tweeted the following:
“We have our back and Forth’s but @anthonyfjoshua changed his stars through life,” he wrote. “heavyweight boxing, these things happen, rest up, recover, regroup and come again”
On the other hand, Deontay Wilder definitely was not impressed by the British fighter and his legacy. ‘The Bronze Bomber’ holds the WBC title and is arguably the best power puncher on the planet. He wrote:
“He wasn’t a true champion. His whole career was consisted of lies, contradictions and gifts.
Facts and now we know who was running from who!!!!#TilThisDay.”