Andy Ruiz pulled of an astonishing upset in the world of boxing this weekend!
by: Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Andy Ruiz Jr. pulled off one of the most stunning upsets in boxing history Saturday night.
The unheralded underdog knocked off 25-1 favorite Anthony Joshua to win the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles in the British superstar’s United States debut at a sold-out Madison Square Garden full of Joshua’s shocked countrymen. Ruiz overcame a third-round knockdown, channeled his inner Buster Douglas and floored the previously unbeaten Joshua four times to win by seventh-round technical knockout.
The 6-feet-6, 245-pound Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) was knocked down twice apiece in the third and seventh rounds. He got up a second time in the seventh round, but Joshua, without his mouthpiece and blood flowing from his nose, backed into his own corner.
Referee Michael Griffin asked a dejected Joshua if he wanted to continue. Joshua answered, “yes,” but Griffin waved an end to the fight at 1:27 of the seventh round.
The 29-year-old Ruiz (33-1, 22 KOs), of Commerce, California, was ahead on two of the three scorecards when the fight ended.
Judges Michael Alexander and Julie Lederman had Ruiz ahead 57-56. Judge Pasquale Procopio had Joshua in front 57-56 following six rounds.
“Man, I just wanna thank God for giving me this victory,” said Ruiz, who became boxing’s first Mexican heavyweight champion. “Without him, this wouldn’t have been possible. And I just feel so good, man. This is what I’ve been dreaming about. This is what I’ve been working hard for and I can’t believe I just made my dreams come true.”
Ruiz is contractually obligated to give Joshua a rematch. It can be immediate if Joshua wants to fight Ruiz next.
Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, told DAZN’s Chris Mannix in the ring that the rematch will take place in the United Kingdom.
Regardless, Joshua’s upset loss ruined his much-anticipated heavyweight title showdown with WBC champion Deontay Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KOs). In the immediate aftermath of his first professional defeat, Joshua apologized to his fans for disappointing them.
“It just wasn’t my night,” Joshua said. “It was Andy Ruiz’s night. But look, you know what? It’s good for the TV, it’s good for DAZN and the people watching. And now I’ve gotta go and do it again.”