Ruiz stuns Joshua in boxing upset

Andy Ruiz upended Anthony Joshua in an historic heavyweight title upset — and turned boxing’s glamour division upside down.

The bout at fabled Madison Square Garden was supposed to be a Stateside coming out party for Britain’s Joshua, previously unbeaten in 22 bouts with 21 of those victories coming inside the distance.

It was supposed to pave the way for a lucrative unification bout with World Boxing Council champion Deontay Wilder.

But Joshua’s first fight in America had already hit a snag when scheduled opponent Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller failed three drugs tests.

Enter Ruiz, a Mexican-American from Imperial City on the California border with Mexico who took the fight at short notice and delivered an upset that immediately sparked comparisons to James “Buster” Douglas’s 1990 knockout of Mike Tyson in Japan.

“Everyone’s been doubting me since the beginning,” Ruiz said. “Especially for this fight — nobody knew I was going to win.

“I’m here now, the first Mexican heavyweight champion of the world.”

Ruiz officially arrived at 1:26 of the seventh round, when he knocked Joshua down for the fourth time and referee Mike Griffin called a halt.

Knocked down himself in the third round, Ruiz climbed off the canvas to send Joshua down twice in that round, then put him down twice in the seventh.

“It made me stronger. It made me want to do more,” Ruiz said of the knockdown, after which he proceeded to pummel Joshua with fierce flurries — making good on his vow that despite his chubby 268-pound physique he’d bring explosiveness and speed that would prove Joshua’s undoing.


Rematch in UK

Now he’ll have to show he has the kind of fortitude displayed by compatriot Lennox Lewis in coming back from disaster to become an even bigger star.

Joshua indicated he still aims to be a major player in the rejuvenated heavyweight division.

“I just have to turn it around a few notches and bring it back my way,” he said. “I don’t want people to drown in their sorrows. This will show I have the power and the strength.”

Among the interested onlookers however, Wilder doubted Joshua’s ability to bounce back.

“He wasn’t a true champion. His whole career consisted of lies, contradictions and gifts,” tweeted the WBC champ, who is preparing for upcoming rematches against Luis Ortiz and — probably early in 2020 — unbeaten Tyson Fury.

Britain’s Fury — who still labels himself the “lineal champion” despite vacating in 2016 several versions of the heavyweight world title he won against Wladimir Klitschko — is gearing up for a June 15 fight against German Tom Schwarz in Las Vegas.

Where and how Ruiz will fit into their plans remains to be seen, but he’s certainly in the plans of Joshua, who said he “100%” wants a rematch.

Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn suggested a rematch in the United Kingdom in November or December.

“Right now, I just want to celebrate,” Ruiz said. “This is what I have been dreaming about since I was six years old.”

© Agence France-Presse

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Agency
External source
Advertising

High Court strikes down ‘paternalistic’ lockdown regulations

The order of unconstitutionality has been suspended for two weeks

L’Oréal workers demand a shutdown of local plant, citing Covid-19...

The French cosmetics company’s Midrand plant has recorded 16 Covid-19 cases in two weeks

Protective equipment for schools in KwaZulu-Natal goes ‘missing’

Without protective equipment, schools in uMlazi, Pinetown and Zululand won’t meet the already delayed deadline for reopening
Advertising

Press Releases

Empowering his people to unleash their potential

'Being registered as an AGA(SA) means you are capable of engineering an idea and turning it into money,' says Raymond Mayekisa

What is an AGA(SA) and AT(SA) and why do they matter?

If your company has these qualified professionals it will help improve efficiencies and accelerate progress by assisting your organisation to perform better

Mining company uses rich seam of technology to gear up for Covid-19

Itec Direct technology provides instant temperature screening of staff returniing to the workplace with no human contact

Covid-19 and Back to School Webinar

If our educators can take care of themselves, they can take care of the children they teach

5G technology is the future

Besides a healthcare problem Covid-19 is also a data issue and 5G technology, with its lightning speed, can help to curb its spread

JTI off to court for tobacco ban: Government not listening to industry or consumers

The tobacco ban places 109 000 jobs and 179 000 wholesalers and retailers at risk — including the livelihood of emerging farmers

Holistic Financial Planning for Professionals Webinar

Our lives are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that your financial planning must be reviewed frequently — preferably on an annual basis

Undeterred by Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa hold hands, building a community of a shared future for mankind

It is clear that building a community with a shared future for all mankind has become a more pressing task than ever before

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday