Nearly 30 years ago, the boxing world saw Buster Douglas score one of the biggest upsets in boxing history when he defeated Mike Tyson in Japan. Now Andy Ruiz Jr. has given the 21st century its own Tyson-Douglas moment.
What was supposed to be the start of Anthony Joshua's foray into the United States turned into one of the biggest shockers in recent history. Ruiz stopped Joshua in the seventh round after dropping him four times throughout the fight at Madison Square Garden. With the win, Ruiz is now the unified WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion.
The first two rounds saw Joshua pace himself throughout the fight, landing the left jab and move back to avoid Ruiz's fast punches. The third round, now a candidate for "Round of the Year," saw Joshua start by dropping Ruiz first with a left uppercut. Ruiz got back up and returned the favor by dropping Joshua twice in the same round. Joshua was slow to get up after each knockdown but survived the round.
As the fight progressed, Joshua showed little signs of recovery as he was still reeling from the two knockdowns. Ruiz found a lot of success connecting with the hooks and body shots and Joshua did not do much to get back in the fight. The seventh round saw Joshua get dropped twice more and after getting back up the final time, the referee decided to stop the fight.
Despite the result, Joshua was all smiles in the post-fight interview, congratulating Ruiz on the victory. Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn said he will immediately exercise a rematch clause and is aiming to put the sequel in the United Kingdom later this year.
This fight ends Joshua's reign as champion which started in 2016 when he picked up the IBF title with a win over Charles Martin. He followed it up with a win over Wladimir Klitschko to pick up the WBA title in 2017 and last year, Joshua defeated Joseph Parker to win the WBO title.
Ruiz is now the first male Mexican heavyweight champion and won the titles in his second attempt. Ruiz unsuccessfully challenged for the WBO title in 2016 when he lost a majority decision to Parker. After 15 months away from the ring, Ruiz returned to the ring and picked up wins over Devin Vargas, Kevin Johnson and Alexander Dimitrenko en route to the win against Joshua.