New York: This may have not been as huge as the Buster Douglas upset over Mike Tyson in Tokyo of 1990. But unheralded Andy Ruiz Jr, and his ability to punch and overcome made boxing history Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
Overcoming all obstacles as the heavy underdog, Ruiz Jr. stopped WBA,IBF, WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in round seven and in the process became the first heavyweight champion from Mexico.
Ruiz became the replacement opponent for Joshua, because Jarrell Miller the original opponent failed three anti-doping tests, Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn believed that Ruiz Jr, was the right opponent and it proved to be correct. A sellout crowd of over 20,201, many who traveled from the UK to root on Joshua, were stunned to see their champion go down to defeat.
But it all came down to Ruiz Jr. being the better fighter. As a result, the heavyweight division and boxing fans saw the anticipated and much talked about unification bout with Joshua and WBC champion Deontay Wilder go out the window.
“It’s because of the Mexican warrior I am, I have that Mexican blood in me,” the new champion said in the ring after most never gave him a chance. “Talking about the Mexican fighting style, I just proved it.”
Ruiz Jr.came back after a knockdown in the third round. He would drop Joshua twice later in the round and two more times in the seventh before the fight was stopped by referee Mike Griffin. Before the stoppage he was winning the fight on two of the judges scorecards.
A rematch with Joshua was already in place, But the quick announcement and how the powerful Joshua failed to show his abilities made many to believe that this fight was not on the level. Joshua seemed pensive and Ruiz Jr, looked like a dominant champion with his right and ability to go after Joshua with no hesitation.
“I could but I just didn’t want to throw away what I had,” Ruiz said about sensing that Joshua was hurt after the knockdowns. “I just wanted to hunt him down even and work the body. I just wanted to listen to the game plan.”
A rematch is almost definite and would take place later this year in the UK, home of Joshua and where he made fame before crowds of 80,000 or more. By all means, Ruiz Jr. saw his rise to fame and Joshua, even without the titles, still has value and remains in this heavyweight title mix along with Tyson Fury.
“Of course man, right now,” Ruiz Jr said about the rematch. “I just want to celebrate. I just made history for Mexico. This is what I have been dreaming about since I was six years old.”
Most of all Andy Ruiz Jr. made boxing history at Madison Square Garden. And where have we heard that in the past?
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