Andy Ruiz Jr. scores one of the biggest upsets in boxing history
By John J. Raspanti
Andy Ruiz Jr. became the first Mexican-American to win the heavyweight championship in the history of the sport by stopping 20-1 favorite Anthony Joshua in front of a shocked Madison Square Garden crowd in New York City Saturday night.
Joshua, taller by four inches and with his UK faithful chanting, came out boxing Ruiz Jr. in the opening round. He jabbed. Ruiz, staying calm, looked to counter. He bobbed and weaved. Joshua, backing up for one of the few times in his career, fired a few combinations that missed.
In round two, Ruiz, now the IBO, IBF, WBA and WBO champion, popped quick jabs. He also landed a solid right hand. Joshua moved to his left and continued to throw his long stick. He was looking to fire a one-two. Seconds later, a big right, followed by a huge uppercut put Ruiz on the seat of his pants.
Ruiz, down for the first time his career, somehow got up. Joshua stepped in to end it, but Ruiz fired a left hook that caught Joshua on the temple.Joshua went down on all fours. The champion got up, but his legs were shaky. Ruiz was looking for another big shot. He landed a solid right that sent Joshua down again.
Joshua beat the count, but looked like a woozy guy staggering out of a bar. Luckily for him, the bell rang ending the round. Joshua still didn’t look right as round four began. He did connect with a big left hook.
Ruiz absorbed it and jabbed downstairs. He was looking to set up Joshua for a chin shot. Ruiz was stalking, while Joshua was hesitating.
Joshua looked fully recovered in round five. Had Ruiz let him off the hook? Joshua connected with a counter right. Ruiz landed his own right. He jabbed his way inside. Joshua connected with a left hook. Ruiz clipped Joshua with a right.
The big powerful champion was told to keep boxing in round six. Ruiz was staying calm, bobbing and weaving, and jabbing himself. He landed a right to the head. Ruiz walked after Joshua and went to the body. He fired another right and left. Both landed. His faster hands were a real problem for Joshua.
Ruiz appeared to have the edge through six rounds. Joshua landed a left, but Ruiz let his hands go-flooring Joshua for the third time. Reeling, a few glancing blows from Ruiz put him down again. Joshua, got up, but looked hurt and exhausted. He was bleeding from the nose. He turned and looked at his corner. Referee Michael Griffin asked Joshua if he was ready to box. Joshua didn’t respond. Griffin waved the fight off.
The time 1:27 seconds into round seven.
"I just want to thank God for giving me this victory. Without him this wouldn’t have been possible," said Ruiz in the ring. "This is what I have been dreaming about. This is what I have been working hard for, and I can’t believe I just made my dreams come true."