Andy Ruiz Jr has caused one of the biggest shocks in the history of heavyweight boxing by stopping Anthony Joshua in seven rounds to inflict his first defeat and win the IBF, WBA and WBO titles.
On the occasion of the defending champion’s US debut, at New York’s revered Madison Square Garden, he was dethroned as the world’s leading heavyweight by a significant underdog who took advantage of becoming a late-notice opponent to secure a life-changing win.
Brooklyn’s Jarrell Miller had been chosen as Joshua’s opponent until a six-month suspension ruled him out and gave Ruiz Jr an unexpected opportunity with little over a month’s notice.
When he was knocked down in the third round, he appeared on the verge of losing as routinely as Joshua’s previous 22 opponents, but he immediately responded with two knockdowns that left Joshua fortunate to survive.
If Joshua appeared to recover throughout the fourth and fifth, in the sixth he again became hesitant even if there was little sign that he was about to be stopped.
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Two further knockdowns in the seventh again left him fighting for survival, and though he returned to his feet after each, he was no longer able to defend himself, forcing referee Mike Griffin’s intervention while he was on his still on his feet after one minute and 27 seconds.
The boxing world has been left stunned by the result, with no one really giving the Mexican-American a chance.
However, maybe Joshua’s social media activity leading up to the fight should have told us all we needed to know.
Everyone is aware by now of the infamous Drake Curse, and it seems to have reached Joshua.
Ten weeks ago he posted a picture of himself and the rapper, and even captioned it with: ‘Bout to break the curse #June1st’
No, no you’re not, AJ.