Andy Ruiz Jr. shocked the world on Saturday night by knocking out Anthony Joshua in the seventh round to become the new IBF, WBA, WBO, and IBO heavyweight champion of the world.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK—The boxing world was turned upside down on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden when Andy Ruiz Jr. (33-1, 22 KOs) shocked everybody by stopping Anthony Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) via seventh-round TKO to capture the WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight champion. It was one of the biggest upsets in heavyweight boxing history; Ruiz was an 11-1 underdog.
With the win, the 29-year-old Ruiz also becomes the first heavyweight champion of Mexican descent.
Few people gave Ruiz a chance since he took the fight on six weeks notice and due to the contrast in body types between him and the chiseled physique of Joshua.
Even fewer people gave him a chance of pulling the upset after Joshua knocked him down with a vicious left hook in Round 3. But Ruiz got up at the count of six and then quickly changed the momentum of the fight.
He battered Joshua with a barrage of hooks that sent Joshua to the canvas. Joshua made it up at the count of eight, but wasn’t steady on his feet. Ruiz dropped him again with just seconds remaining in the round and made it clear to everyone in attendance that he was in control of the fight.
The pace slowed down in Rounds 4 and 5, but you could tell Ruiz was gaining confidence while Joshua was boxing cautiously because he was wary of Ruiz’s punching power.
In round six Ruiz would hurt Joshua again with a barrage of combinations, and while Joshua was able to stay on his feet, it was clear he was hurt and fatigued.
A Memorable Night At @TheGarden ?
— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) June 2, 2019
Later, Ruiz landed an overhand right to Joshua’s head that hurt him badly and Ruiz followed up with a series of combinations that dropped Joshua again. Joshua got up but was knocked again seconds later after another combination by Ruiz.
Joshua got up and walked to a neutral corner with a dazed and tired look on his face. While in the corner, referee Michael Griffin asked Joshua if he wanted to continue to box and Joshua nodded his head; but Griffin looked at Joshua’s body language and decided to call a halt to the fight.
An elated Ruiz jumped all around the ring following the stoppage knowing that he had just shocked the world and lived out his dream of becoming champion. Ruiz spoke about this in the ring shortly after the conclusion of the fight.
“Right now, I just want to celebrate,” Ruiz said. “I just made history for Mexico. This is what I have been dreaming about since I was six years old.”
Ruiz’s upset victory is not as huge as Buster Douglas knocking out Mike Tyson back in 1990, but his victory will be forever mentioned when there are discussions about the biggest upsets in boxing.
— Jason Leach (@JasonKLeach) June 2, 2019
A stunned Joshua, who was making his U.S. debut on Saturday night, can only look forward a the rematch that his promoter Eddie Hearn said will take place in the U.K. in either November or December.
“I just have to turn it around a few notches and bring it back my way. I don’t want people to drown in their sorrows. This will show I have the power and the strength. It just wasn’t my night. But listen, it is good for the TV. Good for DAZN and the people watching.”
No matter what happens in the rematch, it’s highly doubtful that it will match the drama and the historical impact that we saw at Madison Square Garden on June 1.