Site note: as with all Tuesdays, the new rankings will be up at Noon ET today so that you can yell about what order I have the heavyweights.
Andy Ruiz Jr is still the talk of boxing, as you would imagine. His profile just went through the roof after Saturday, and he’s still dominating the news cycle after his upset of Anthony Joshua.
DAZN posted the full, incredible third round of the fight, and we looked back on that. The full fight highlights are in there, too.
Ruiz wants the Joshua rematch to be held in Mexico, which frankly just isn’t going to happen, as neat as it would be. I figure most likely Ruiz will wind up going to the UK and being paid handsomely to do so. I doubt he has any fear of that, either, but if he doesn’t have to, why would he? The fight could also make plenty of sense in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, or Texas, and frankly DAZN — who have the rights to the rematch — may want it in US primetime.
There have been reports that Anthony Joshua had been KO’d in sparring leading up to the fight. The man responsible? Joey Dawejko, a portly Philadelphia battler you’ve surely seen at some point. Dawejko (19-7-4, 11 KO) is one of those tough dudes better than his record, but nah, he shouldn’t be knocking AJ out. I find that far more troubling concerning Joshua’s future than I do AJ having lost to Andy Ruiz.
Speaking of AJ’s future and the rematch, I wrote about the recent string of upsets we’ve seen — Ruiz, Jamel Herring, Julian Williams — and the hope that maybe we’ll stop writing guys off after losses. That goes for Joshua, too. This was less a response to anything said here than it was the ideas dominating a large part of the rest of the media, who are in outraged mourning over the supposed loss of Wilder-Joshua.
Similarly in response to that, Max Kellerman isn’t feeling the doom and gloom that Ruiz has ruined something, he sees this as a positive for boxing.
Michael Woods spoke with Larry Merchant about coining the phrase “theater of the unexpected,” and the veteran analyst’s thoughts on today’s heavyweight scene.
- Tony Harrison needs ankle surgery, and as such the WBC 154-pound titleholder is out of his June 23 rematch with Jermell Charlo. Charlo will now face Jorge Cota, a professional opponent sort, and the show will go on. Hopefully everything will turn out well for Harrison and he’ll be back sooner than later.
- Heavyweight prospect Efe Ajagba will return on July 20, facing Ali Eren Demirezen on the Pacquiao-Thurman card. The fight will air on the FOX portion of the broadcast, before the pay-per-view. Ajagba is still raw, but has real power, a good trainer in Ronnie Shields, and a lot of upside. But his opponent Demirezen is no schlub, either. Both fighters fought at Rio 2016. Ajagba made it to the quarterfinals, while Demirezen lost to Filip Hrgovic in the round of 16.
- Frank Warren is rightly taking advantage of all the aforementioned Ruiz hype and attention, saying this proves that Tyson Fury can’t afford to overlook Tom Schwarz on June 15, and Warren-promoted Nathan Gorman is using Ruiz’s physique to help hype his own bout with Daniel Dubois on July 13.
- 43-year-old Naoko Fujioka, current holder of the WBO 112-pound title, will defend her belt against Tenkai Tsunami on July 12 at Korakuen Hall. Fujioka has won titles in five weight classes over her 10-year pro career, which has amounted to a total of 20 fights, 12 of which have been for some world title or other.