In a fight that has left the boxing world completely stunned, Andy Ruiz defeated the unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua last night at Madison Square Garden. As a massive underdog and late replacement due to Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller’s failed drug test, Ruiz stepped in and fought his way into delivering one of boxing’s biggest upsets in history. This fight has to be right there with James “Buster” Douglas defeating Mike Tyson back in 1990. The fact that Ruiz had only 4 weeks to prepare for the biggest fight of his life, made this victory that much more impressive. It was also history making in that Ruiz became the first boxer of Mexican descent to win a heavyweight title as he captured Joshua’s IBF, WBA and WBO titles. He acknowledge this by saying “Right now I just want to celebrate. I just made history, baby, for Mexico! It means everything, man. This is what I’ve been dreaming about since I was 6 years old.”
Considered to be a joke by many, Ruiz’s underdog Vegas odds ranged from 25 up to 45-1, with his physical appearance being the biggest reason to doubt him. The old adage “looks can be deceiving” has never been more true to me than it was Saturday night in New York City. Joshua came in the fight a buff 6’6 at 245 pounds. Meanwhile, Ruiz was about 6 feet at 270 pounds with short arms, short legs, and a slight beer gut. He looked more like a plumber than a prize fighter. But he has good skills, good hand speed, a solid chin, and can actually box. And he put it all on display when he knocked Joshua down four times before the ref finally stopped the fight.
For Joshua, this was a very disappointing stateside debut for the former British champion. At times he looked uninterested, fatigued, and out boxed in front of the sold out crowd of 20,201 screaming fans. His perfect record and aura of invincibility was just destroyed by a guy many considered to be yet another tomato can fighter that Joshua faces. Now I’m absolutely sure that Joshua wants a rematch after being humiliated and exposed by an inferior fighter. And when it happens, he needs to win and win very convincingly.
I am happy for Ruiz, he put in work and deserved to win, but the heavyweight division took a loss last night as well. The much needed and highly anticipated mega fight between Joshua and Deontay Wilder was just destroyed faster than King’s Landing by Drogon. On a side note, I wonder if Ruiz will get that invite to the White House. I bet he would enjoy a good hamberder.