In a matchup that many boxing experts expected to be a virtual waste of everybody's time, Andy Ruiz Jr. threw mud at them all.
Ruiz sent shockwaves throughout the boxing world on Saturday night by knocking previously-unbeaten heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua four times before finally stopping him in the seventh. A massive betting underdog coming in and a much smaller fighter physically, Ruiz never doubted his abilities and wound up becoming the first ever Mexican heavyweight champion in boxing, and he did it in the most historic venue the sport has ever seen; Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Ruiz (33-1, 22 KO) was dropped early in the third from a beautiful right uppercut-left hook combo, but his Aztec heart prevented him from folding. Instead, "Destroyer" picked himself up and went right after the 2012 Olympic gold medalist. From there, the fight was never the same.
Joshua (22-1, 21 KO) charged at Ruiz once the fight resumed, but his overzealousness cost him; Ruiz slammed a left hook onto the Brit's jaw. Joshua's knees gelatinized, and Ruiz swarmed him with punches until the champ was down. Late in the same round, Joshua was backed into a corner, where Ruiz unloaded another volley of punches, sending him sprawling down against the ropes.
Joshua gathered himself enough to win a few of the ensuing rounds, but Ruiz surprised him by jumping on him early in the seventh. A right to the head buckled the champ's knees, and follow-up punches from Ruiz sent Joshua to the canvas again. Once the battle resumed, "AJ" tried to turn the tides by unleashing hellish punches, but he was dropped for the fourth time when he walked into another right to the jaw, sending his mouthpiece flying.
Once Joshua climbed back to his feet, he walked to his corner and wasn't completely answering referee Mike Griffin's questions. The veteran third man didn't like what he was hearing from Joshua and decided to waive off the bout, officially ending it at 1:27 of the seventh. The massive upset allowed Ruiz, who took the fight on only a few weeks' notice, to wrest the IBF, IBO, WBO and WBA title belts from Joshua.
« Previous Boxing: Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr. Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring Next Weekend Boxing Results, June 3 »