ANTHONY JOSHUA V ANDY RUIZ JR: FIGHT OF THE YEAR
Updated: Feb 26
The fight that sent shockwaves through the sport of boxing on June 1st. Andy Ruiz beat Anthony Joshua at MSG in the 7th Round by TKO.
The fight was made after Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller failed three separate drug tests for PEDs and other chemicals he inserted into his body. Once Miller was pulled out of the fight, Andy Ruiz threw his hat into the ring and was picked as the best opponent for Anthony Joshua’s US debut.
The pair met each other face to face for the first time just three days before the fight and from that point forward, Ruiz started the kidology. Ruiz asked to hold the belts, as well as asking for selfies and pretty much acted like a fan and not a fellow competitor. AJ had no animosity towards Ruiz and this was clear to see from the start, everything just seemed to be too friendly. The majority of people expected an early KO victory for AJ, considering the physique of both fighters and the extended reach and height advantage in AJ’s favour.
The man that got under AJ’s skin was no longer standing in his way, it was a chubby Mexican who had been defeated in his previous world title attempt against the former Joseph Parker. The bookmakers had Ruiz a 20/1underdog to be victorious on the night which seemed to be fair considering the resume of both fighters. The first two rounds went as expected with both fighters trying to establish an early advantage but turned in to a chess match. AJ trying to land his jab with Ruiz countering it with a right of his own but it did not take a long for the fireworks to start.
AJ landed a wonderful right uppercut, left hook which sent Ruiz crashing to the canvas for the first time in his career. The sense of inevitability beckoned and once the referee finished his standard 8 count, nobody could possibly have seen what was coming next. A fierce right hand from AJ landed but he then got reckless and greedy, he threw one too many power shops and got caught with a well timed left hook by the Mexican. This time, it was AJ that was hurt, his equilibrium had gone and the tables had turned, AJ was down. With a lot of time left in the round, it was only a matter of time before a big shot was landed and Ruiz delivered it. AJ was down for the second time in the round and just managed to get back to his feet before the bell rang to signal the end of the round. It was a welcomed 60 seconds for AJ who was receiving strong words from Rob McCracken in the corner.
The fourth round commenced and it was fairly cagey, with both fighters being hurt in the previous round, both fighters seemed hesitant to try and end the fight. The fifth round started and AJ started to look slightly stronger on his feet and landed the best punch in the round which shook Ruiz on to his back foot. Throughout the fifth and sixth round, Ruiz kept attacking the body of AJ who started to look more exhausted as the rounds went on and was only a matter of time before Ruiz stepped on the accelerator.
In the seventh; that is exactly what happened. Ruiz started putting his punches together and floored AJ for the third time in the fight. AJ got up again but he looked like a wounded animal, he had nothing left in the tank. Just seconds later AJ saw the canvas for the fourth time and spat his gum shield out before walking back to the corner to try and get a few extra seconds grace. The ref took a long look before waving the fight off. Andy ‘The Destroyer’ had made history, he was now the first ever Mexican heavyweight champion of the world and had pulled off the biggest upset since Mike Tyson lost to Buster Douglas back in February 1990.
The aftermath resulted with more questions than answers as well as countless conspiracy theories as to why AJ lost. “AJ had a panic attack in the changing room”, “AJ got knocked out in sparring”; “AJ was concussed”, these are just some of the theories that were on all social media outlets. Once the fight had finished, there was an aggressive reaction from AJ’s’ father towards Eddie Hearn and that inspired a lot of the conspiracy theories we are led to believe. However, AJ and his team have all squashed these rumours to be false and that he had lost to the better man on the night. The humble nature of the man showed and he was extremely graceful in defeat.