AT NEW YORK — It may not go down as an upset the magnitude of Buster Douglas knocking out Mike Tyson or even Hasim Rahman drilling Lennox Lewis to win the heavyweight world title, but Andy Ruiz knocked out Anthony Joshua in the seventh round to win three heavyweight world title belts in a shocker on Saturday night.
Sold-out Madison Square Garden was packed with Joshua’s British countrymen who made the trip across the pond expecting to see him smoke Ruiz, who was a massive underdog, but it became his Waterloo and crushed the chance of an undisputed championship fight between Joshua and Deontay Wilder.
Ruiz survived a knockdown in the third round but rallied to drop Joshua twice later in the round and then twice more in the seventh round before stopping Joshua in a shocking scene.
Ruiz became the first fighter of Mexican decent to win a heavyweight world title and did so in the most dramatic fashion.
Seven times before a Mexican fighter had tried but failed, including Ruiz, who lost an extremely close majority decision to Joseph Parker when they met for a vacant title on Parker’s home turf in New Zealand in December 2016. Chris Arreola lost three tries, Eric Molina two and Manuel Ramos one.
— Streetfight Bancho (@streetfitebanch) June 2, 2019
But now the 6-foot-2, flabby 268-pound Ruiz, who looks anything like a fighter, has a claim on boxing’s biggest prize as he dethroned it’s biggest star this side of Canelo Alvarez.
The 6-6, chiseled 247-pound Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs), 29, was making his seventh title defense and his much-anticipated United States debut after regularly selling out stadiums in the United Kingdom, but came to these shores hoping to build his brand in America and because streaming service DAZN put up tens of millions of dollars to lure him here.
Joshua wasn’t even supposed to face Ruiz (33-1, 22 KOs), 29, of Imperial, California. He was scheduled to fight undefeated New Yorker Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller, but Miller was bounced from the fight about a month ago after failing four Voluntary Anti-Doping Association-administered random drug tests for three different banned substances — GW1516, humane growth hormone and EPO — and being denied a boxing license by the New York State Athletic Commission.
After heavy hitter Luis “King Kong” Ortiz turned down the fight — he will instead get a rematch this fall with Wilder — Ruiz was the best available opponent who was willing, and anxious, to fight Joshua. So he took the fight fresh from a strong performance in a fifth-round knockout of Alexander Dimitrenko on April 20 and kept the momentum going.