At the weekend, Anthony Joshua’s experienced his first defeat, at the hands of Mexican-American fighter, Andy Ruiz Jr at Madison Square Garden, New York. It was Joshua’s first fight stateside and he was looking to impress against the 25-1 outsider. Instead, in what is likely to be seen as one of the biggest shocks in heavyweight boxing history, he was systematically outboxed over the seven round fight, after initially putting down Ruiz in the 3rd round. His desire to end the fight there and then, resulted in him getting caught himself, and hitting the deck twice that same round. He went on to get put down twice more in the 7th round before the referee put an end to the bout.
Some have posited that he may have been concussed and didn’t ever recover from the 3rd round knock downs. Other say he underestimated the abilities Ruiz, or could not get motivated for the fight with so many other big name bouts to look to down the line (Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder) . It’s of course perfectly possibly that Andy Ruiz Jr is actually much better than people realise, and will go on to achieve further success. While he certainly doesn’t look the part, his shape belies his speed, and he has a tidy defense too. Joshua on the other hand, has never come across as someone built for endurance, and just couldn’t seem to get to Ruiz without being on the end of a flurry of counter punches. He didn’t appear to be able to adjust to what was in front of him.
Along with his unbeaten record Anthony Joshua has lost his impressive collection of belts: International Boxing Federation World Heavyweight Title, International Boxing Organization World Heavyweight Title, World Boxing Association Super World Heavyweight Title and World Boxing Organisation World Heavyweight Title. There is thought to be a rematch clause and so hopefully he’ll get a chance to bounce back, but for now some pundits are re-evaluating his place in the heavyweight division. Ruiz becomes Mexico’s first Heavyweight Champion.