Andy Ruiz Jr(33-1 22kos) wins one of the biggest upsets of the new millennium defeating Anthony Joshua(22-1 20kos) with a 7th round TKO stoppage at Madison Square Garden in New York City June 1, 2019 becoming the new WBA, IBF and WBO AND the first Mexican American Heavyweight champion of the world.
Put it like this. I am 21 years old, it’s 5am in the morning but I’ve got to write this article now because all the drama that has just happened won’t be quite the same after 6 hours of sleep.
Joshua losing his belts is certainly the biggest upset I can remember watching live, and although it’s easy to pick apart Joshua’s performance I think it’s more respectful to start with what Ruiz did well in there tonight. Ruiz in short new his limits, he knew that he was never going to outbox Joshua from the outside from his jab, but that didn’t stop him using it. Better than that he effectively nullified Joshua’s job with small parries and made Joshua anxious to even try and throw the straight right. This was because like with Danny Garcia against Amir Khan Ruiz made a concerted effort of punching with Joshua, you can see this most effectively in that 3rd round after Ruiz was dropped by a left hook. Joshua went in for the kill and was caught trying to throw uppercuts and hooks that frankly he didn’t need to do, at least yet and was caught from a Ruiz left hook that would have made Dillian Whyte proud that eventually sent Joshua down.
Much was said about Ruiz’s hand speed coming into this fight and to be honest I saw it like the Parker fight, but even less consequential. My logic being, hand speed is great to have, but not entirely useful if you’re being speared with a jab and your opponent is out of your reach. What Ruiz did is nullify Joshua’s jab using those parries and whenever Joshua tried to come in and be a bit more ambitious, he was met by Ruiz’s not only speed, but timing. Laid on top of all this was Joshua’s gas tank, which I have always thought was a bit suspect. Yes, Joshua has gone 12 before, and never looked to gas out entirely, but whenever the opponent was looking to set the pace, think Povetkin, Whyte or Klitschko, Joshua’s work rate always seemed to dwindle. This happened again this time around. Though the 6th round is a great example of Ruiz mixing it up to both head and body. His straight rights and jabs to the body not only sapped Joshua’s stamina further but set up more head shots.
Come the 7th and two more knockdowns and the fight was stopped, prematurely? No, Joshua had that look of a fighter who wanted out but was too proud to say it, and that was that. Was it as big as Tyson Douglas, I’ve got no idea I’m only 21, but what I will say is that I gave Ruiz less of chance than Joshua’s four last opponents and I wasn’t exactly preparing for “Mexican Heavyweight World Champion” as my new headline.
As for Joshua, he kept it classy in the post- fight which is admirable but he’s going to need to do some heavy thinking after tonight. A change in trainer perhaps, maybe Joshua would work better with that Klitschko style. I certainly don’t think that you can change him so he’s a defensive wizard on the inside, nor do I think you can make him a Tyson Fury. Maybe Joshua does just have more of a Mike Tyson “bully” mentality, in that he’s fine when he’s in control and setting the pace but when the temperature heats up he just cant hack it at top level, and if it is that I don’t think he can change.
What Joshua will do is up to him, but the night belongs to Andy Ruiz Jnr, and the headlines will be much to my surprise, the new Mexican Heavyweight world champion.
Eddie Hearn did confirm there is a rematch clause and they will be triggering it later this year but where will it be held as I am not sure you can specify the Location of the renmatch before the first fight has taken place.
On the undercard, yes there was one. Callum Smith 26 (19 KOs)-0-0 did a good job on Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam 37 (21 KOs)-4 (2 KOs)-0 defending his WBA Super-Middleweight title in a 3rd round TKO. It wasn’t a great fight in terms of an evenly matched bout but with N’Dam being an average sized career Middleweight it wasn’t expected to be, then again that was the same as the main event I suppose. Callum Smith showed again why he is put at the of the 168-pound division with a short but complete performance.
From the early goings it was clear that N’Dam was looking to frustrate the Brit constantly moving laterally around the ring, and occasionally leaping in with overhand rights. Smith though was just a little too solid and had a good enough sense of distance to get to grips with these tactics pretty early on and got two knockdowns from counter left hooks in the 1st and 2rd. The final blow came when N’Dam was looking to come in with an up jab from a crouching stance, but the moment N’Dam bent his knees he was met by a straight right from Smith, and the night got even better for Liverpool as a world title would return to the city as well as the Champions League all in the same night.