It happened. It happened.
Andy Ruiz Jr is the new WBA, IBF, and WBO heavyweight titleholder, stopping Anthony Joshua in the seventh round tonight at Madison Square Garden, live on DAZN.
Ruiz (33-1, 22 KO) was down in the third round, and for all the world, it looked like the whole thing was going according to script. Anthony Joshua, the big, strapping, muscular champion, was going to blow out the shorter, frankly chubby short-notice replacement challenger.
But Ruiz came firing back as soon as he got off the canvas, catching Joshua and dropping him in return. When Joshua got back up, Ruiz went at him again, putting Joshua down again late in the third round, and the bell may have saved Joshua as much as anything at that point.
The next two rounds were pretty quiet, as both men were tentative. Joshua never quite looked right again, and Ruiz didn’t want to run into anything silly, so he waited for an opening. He got one in the seventh, flooring Joshua two more times.
In the corner, with referee Michael Griffin telling Joshua to come forward, Joshua didn’t, and the referee stopped the fight. Joshua complained a bit in the moment, but there’s no real controversy. Joshua didn’t follow the instructions and the referee did his job.
“This is what I’ve been dreaming about, this is what I’ve been working hard for, and I can’t believe I just made my dreams come true,” Ruiz said after the fight.
“I want to celebrate. I just made history, baby, for Mexico!” Ruiz added, as he is now the first Mexican heavyweight champion in history.
“Sorry I let my fans down,” Joshua said, before giving the floor to Ruiz for the celebration, saying he will see Ruiz again, but Joshua came back after to talk to Chris Mannix.
“There’s no excuse. It’s my own fault. I got caught with a big shot, congratulations to him,” Joshua said. “I would have preferred it to be Deontay Wilder, but it wasn’t, it was Andy Ruiz.”
Joshua confirmed he will “100 percent” exercise the rematch clause, and didn’t complain much about the stoppage.
Folks, this doesn’t happen. This is a genuine stunner at the highest level of the sport.
CompuBox saw Ruiz landing 56 of 206 (27%) of his punches, and 39 of 119 (33%) of his power shots. Joshua landed 47 of 176 (27%) of his punches, and 23 of 72 (32%) power shots. Joshua out jabbed Ruiz, 24-17, and won the body shot comparison, 15 to 9.