Andy Ruiz Jr made one of the biggest shocks in heavyweight championship history on Saturday night. The Mexican spoiled Anthony Joshua’s US debut with a seventh-round technical knockout at Madison Square Garden.
The unheralded 29-year-old came off the floor in the third round to drop Joshua twice before the end of the frame, then sent the undefeated champion crashing to the canvas for a third and fourth time in the seventh round before referee Mike Griffin put a stop to the proceedings at the 1:27 mark.
This was no fluke. No lucky one-punch knockout that can be explained away by a silver-tongued promoter. Joshua was outboxed, out-toughed and beaten up on a night that turned boxing’s bellwether weight class on its ear.
“I just feel so good, man,” said an elated Ruiz, who captured Joshua’s WBA, WBO and IBF belts in a stunner that ranks alongside Buster Douglas v Mike Tyson and James Braddock v Max Baer among the most seismic in the division’s centuries-spanning annals. “This is what I have been dreaming about. This is what I have been working hard for. I can’t believe I just made my dreams come true.”
That pale fat boy just shocked the world. Congrats to Andy Ruiz. I guess AJ was not superior tonight.
This is why they fight the fights ladies and gentlemen. This is why we watch boxing!#JoshuaRuiz #JoshuaRuizJr #boxing #boxeo #AndyRuiz #ANDTHENEW #monteroonboxing pic.twitter.com/0wMifDAGfO
— Michael Montero (@MonteroOnBoxing) June 2, 2019
Ruiz (33-1, 22 KOs), who was only even in a position for the life-changing upset because Joshua’s original opponent, Brooklyn’s Jarrell Miller, failed three tests for drugs shortly after the match.
“It’s because of the Mexican warrior I am,” said Ruiz, an Imperial Valley native and resident who spent time growing up in the border town of Mexicali and represented Mexico at the 2012 Olympic trials. “I have that Mexican blood in me. Talking about the Mexican fighting style, I just proved it.”