Andy Ruiz Jr. became the new unified WBA “super”/WBO/IBF/IBO heavyweight champion of the world on Saturday. The American underdog scored a seventh round technical knockout victory over the previously undefeated Anthony Joshua at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Before the defeat, Joshua had made six straight successful title defenses.
Joshua vs. Ruiz – Fight Recap
The beginning of the bout saw both men use the jab frequently as they tried to settle in and establish their offense and distance. Though there was not much action, it was clear that the fight was going to be just as much of a battle of skill as it was a battle of power and toughness. The second round was largely uneventful as well, though Ruiz had begun to throw more power shots and seemed to be heating up a little bit.
Round three was a huge round in the fight. About a minute into the round, Joshua would land a right hand and move in close. Ruiz let his hands go but found mostly gloves, then Joshua would land a quick hard right uppercut followed by another hard left hook, dropping Ruiz. When the challenger got to his feet and the fight resumed, Joshua would land a clean right hand, leading to a fierce exchange of punches. Ruiz showed great head movement and ended up ducking right under a right hook from Joshua. Ruiz then landed a clean left hook to the temple area, which wobbled the champion.
Ruiz would proceed to batter Joshua until the latter ended up going down. Joshua was able to hold onto Ruiz a few times to avoid further punishment, but eventually was caught again and dropped at the end of the round. Rounds four through six did not have much action, as Joshua looked to box and move having felt Ruiz’s power. In the beginning of the seventh, Ruiz would land a huge right hand followed by a flurry of hard shots to drop Joshua again. Joshua would get up and try to fight back, but was eventually caught again and forced down to a knee. The champ then got back up and went to the corner where the referee stopped the fight.
This was, without a doubt, a huge upset. I predicted an AJ win, and most others did as well. However, this is a prime example of why in boxing, especially heavyweight boxing, anything can happen. Andy Ruiz Jr. is a great fighter with a lot of heart and nothing to lose. He went in the ring dead set on winning those titles and he did his thing. Joshua seemed to have a fairly good gameplan, but he was just not able to execute it properly; his jabs looked stiff and he seemed overwhelmed by Ruiz’s superior hand speed.
After the fight, Ruiz thanked God for his victory and, when asked about a rematch, stated that he wanted to fight Joshua again. With the win, Ruiz became the first Mexican-American heavyweight champion. Joshua was humble in defeat, saying he respected Ruiz and thanking his fans.
Other Notable Fight Results
- Katie Taylor MD10 Delfine Persoon
- Callum Smith TKO3 Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam
- Josh Kelly MD10 (draw) Ray Robinson
- Chayaphon Moonsri TD8 Tatsuya Fukuhara
- Chris Algieri RTD8 Tommy Coyle
- Willie Monroe Jr. UD10 Hugo Centeno Jr.
With a rematch clause in place, we will likely see a rematch between Ruiz and Joshua at the end of the year. With a Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury rematch looking likely for the beginning of next year, we could very well see an undisputed heavyweight champion sometime in 2020.
Is this the biggest upset since Tyson-Douglas? Should Andy Ruiz be the favorite in the rematch? Comment below with your opinion.