Fightful Boxing Newsletter (6/6) Table of Contents:
- Andy Ruiz Jr. Beats Anthony Joshua To Win Unified Heavyweight Titles (Page 1)
- Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr. Full Results (Page 2)
- Deontay Wilder Announces Fights Against Luis Ortiz, Potential Rematch Against Tyson Fury (Page 3)
- News And Notes From The World Of Boxing (Page 4)
- "I Am Duran" Review (Page 5)
- Gennadiy Golovkin vs. Steve Rolls Preview (Page 6)
Andy Ruiz Jr. Beats Anthony Joshua To Win Unified Heavyweight Titles
This past week was perhaps the biggest and most impactful week in boxing's heavyweight division in years, highlighted by what can only be described as this generation's Mike Tyson-Buster Douglas moment.
Andy Ruiz Jr., a former title challenger who came in as a replacement for Jarrell Miller who tested positive for multiple banned substances, rocked the boxing world to its core and defeated Anthony Joshua to win the WBA "Super, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles. Ruiz, who came in as much as a +1100 underdog against Joshua, stopped the British star in his U.S. debut on June 1 at Madison Square Garden.
But it wasn't the fact that Ruiz beat Joshua, the real surprise came in the way Ruiz beat Joshua. Ruiz completely dominated Joshua from the second half of the third round all the way to the stoppage in the seventh round, dropping Joshua four times in the fight. This was perhaps the most dominant world heavyweight title win by the challenger since Deontay Wilder cruised to a 12-round decision against Bermane Stiverne to win the WBC heavyweight title in 2015.
This was a fascinating fight to analyze from almost every way imaginable as it was Joshua who scored the first knockdown of the fight when he dropped Ruiz in the third round before Ruiz came back up and dominated Joshua.
The moment Joshua dropped Ruiz, Joshua was a completely different fighter it seemed. He made amateurish mistakes one after another, trying to force a knockout when one wasn't available. Joshua forgot how to utilize his jab and distinct size and reach advantage to outbox Ruiz and decided to trade punches on the inside with a guy who is faster than him at short range. It was a recipe for disaster and even on the first knockdown, you can tell something was wrong with Joshua.
Of course, that's not to take away credit from Ruiz, who boxed about as brilliantly as anyone could coming back from a knockdown against a unified champion so heavily favored against you. Ruiz took his time, picked his spots to attack and took advantage of any opening Joshua gave him. By the time the second Ruiz knockdown came in the third round, we were all thinking that Ruiz is probably going to pull off the monumental upset.
What was certainly surprising was the behavior of both Joshua and promoter Eddie Hearn after the fight. Joshua looked very happy despite being on the wrong side of a historical fight result and both men had no problem doing as much media as they could (Joshua didn’t appear in the post-fight press conference as he was getting checked out for a concussion).
One thing that is abundantly clear is that Joshua performed way below average compared to some of his past fights, a fact that not even his own promoter is willing to hide.
“AJ got sloppy. It was a beautiful combination in the third round. He was in total control of the fight but he got sloppy and never recovered. Listen, [last night] was his night but AJ will come back 100 percent and we will make the rematch in the U.K. in November or December. But this night now belongs to Andy Ruiz, he made history in the heavyweight division tonight. It will go down in history as a very big one. AJ has the heart of a lion and will come back stronger. Now at least we know the opponent for the end of the year in the U.K. Absolutely we will enact the immediate rematch. He will be devastated when it sinks in. It makes the fall fight a must win," Hearn said in a post-fight interview with DAZN.
When the fight was finished, everybody immediately went to say that this was the modern incarnation of the Tyson-Douglas fight at the Tokyo Dome in 1990 when Douglas knocked Tyson out in the 10th round and pulled off one of the greatest upsets in sports history.
While everyone is calling it this generation's Tyson-Douglas moment, Joshua-Ruiz isn't as monumental or culturally impacting, but for what it is worth, Ruiz winning might have been the shot in the arm boxing has been craving for years now, something that has people outside of the sport talking in at least a somewhat-positive manner.
From a historical standpoint, this might end up being one of the most improbable upsets in boxing history given how many things had to have happened that led to Ruiz winning the the unified titles. Ruiz got the opportunity to fight Joshua after Jarrell Miller, Joshua's original opponent, failed multiple drug tests back in March and was denied a license to fight the heavyweight titles. Not only did it take Miller failing those tests, but also talks with the likes of Manuel Charr, Adam Kownacki, Michael Hunter and Luis Ortiz all falling through one way or another before Ruiz even got consideration from Hearn.
Ruiz has turned into an overnight sensation and perhaps the sport’s newest fan favorite from a casual standpoint. Ruiz is someone that the everyday man can relate to and him being the first male fighter of Mexican descent to become a world heavyweight champion will make him into possibly the one of the biggest Mexican stars in boxing today.
If Joshua had won the fight, the impact on mainstream news in the United States would be nowhere near as strong as Ruiz winning. By now, everybody would have likely forgotten about the fight and would simply chalk it all up to Joshua facing someone that was not on his level.
Now, the sport is getting massive amounts of coverage from this upset along and one can even look at this result and make a case that DAZN may end up benefiting from the fight. With the rematch more than likely landing on DAZN, there will be a lot more interest and potential new subscribers, far more than what DAZN would get had Joshua won the fight and his next fight would have been against anyone not named Wilder or Tyson Fury.
As for the rematch itself, Hearn announced on Twitter that he has triggered a rematch clause and is planning to have the rematch for the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles either in November and December. The venue has not been decided and is set "to be confirmed shortly."
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