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Andy Ruiz Jr. Stuns Anthony Joshua in Heavyweight Fight with 7th-Round TKO

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJune 2, 2019

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 01:  Andy Ruiz Jr celebrates his seventh round tko against  Anthony Joshua after their IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight title fight at Madison Square Garden on June 01, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Andy Ruiz Jr. pulled off one of the most shocking upsets in heavyweight boxing history as he beat undefeated Anthony Joshua by seventh-round TKO for his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles on Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Ruiz, who was listed as an 11-1 underdog at Caesars Palace, knocked Joshua down twice in the seventh round, leading to the TKO:

DAZN USA @DAZN_USA

Andy F—ING RUIZ JR. #JoshuaRuiz https://t.co/bjjNhWlbTD

Entering Saturday, the 29-year-old Joshua had won all 22 of his professional bouts, all of which came by knockout, minus a unanimous decision win over Joseph Parker in March 2018.

Ruiz is now 33-1, with his lone defeat coming to Parker.

Ruiz made it clear he meant business in a frenetic third round that featured the two fighters trading knockdowns:

DAZN USA @DAZN_USA

WE HAVE A FIGHT ON OUR HANDS LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! #JoshuaRuiz https://t.co/Kf4zJBebne

The challenger knocked down Joshua a second time, however, and looked to be in control of the bout.

Joshua regained his composure in the fourth and fifth rounds, but the tide turned in the sixth before Ruiz dropped the champ in the seventh.

After the match, Ruiz was thrilled and gave credit to his heritage for the win:

DAZN USA @DAZN_USA

For Mexico 💪🇲🇽 #JoshuaRuiz https://t.co/T03uysNy36

DAZN USA @DAZN_USA

🗣 @Andy_Destroyer1: "I can't believe I made my dreams come true!" 💫 #JoshuaRuiz https://t.co/tTH5g6HeNq

He and Joshua showed great class in the ring afterward. Joshua in particular gave respect to the "great fighter" and embraced the victor post-match:

DAZN USA @DAZN_USA

Humble In Defeat 👏 Nothing but class from Anthony Joshua following #JoshuaRuiz ✊ https://t.co/5cRlQru67o

It was an unbelievable sight to see Joshua crediting Ruiz for the win and not the other way around. As The Ringer's Kevin Clark pointed out, Ruiz looked out of shape during the match:

Kevin Clark @bykevinclark

A guy named Andy Ruiz who has the build of an out-of-shape left guard just dropped Anthony Joshua. I am legitimately stunned. This is amazing. This is, somehow, a war of a fight.

Kevin Clark @bykevinclark

A guy named Andy Ruiz who has the build of an out-of-shape left guard just dropped Anthony Joshua. I am legitimately stunned. This is amazing. This is, somehow, a war of a fight.

That ended up not mattering. As Boxing Scene noted, Joshua looked more gassed despite clearly being more fit:

BoxingScene.com @boxingscene

Looking at their body types. Who would have predicted Joshua would be the guy who looked dead tired and looking for an exit plan. Joshua's entire mental state changed when Ruiz landed those hooks to the body prior to the TKO round.

As for where this ranks among the greatest upsets in heavyweight boxing history, Buster Douglas over Mike Tyson as a 42-1 underdog still stands alone given how invincible the heavyweight champion was at the time, but Ruiz over Joshua isn't far behind.

Eric Raskin of USBets.com has it ranked No. 1 since the Feb. 11, 1990 bout:

Eric Raskin @EricRaskin

No. No, it is not a bigger upset than Douglas-Tyson. That’s ridiculous. (But it’s probably the biggest heavyweight upset since Douglas-Tyson.)

Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao ranks it as one of the greatest upsets in boxing history:

Manny Pacquiao @MannyPacquiao

WOW! Andy Ruiz just shocked the world! That was one of the biggest upsets in boxing history.

Regardless of where this ranks all-time, the question is what happens moving forward.

All talk about a potential superfight between Joshua and Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury will presumably be put on hold after this monumental upset. And as boxing insider Mike Coppinger noted, the juice for a Joshua-Wilder fight has lost a bit of its luster with the defeat:

Mike Coppinger @MikeCoppinger

Welp, this is what happens when you marinate boxing matches. The biggest fight that could be made in boxing now dead. Deontay Wilder-Anthony Joshua, if and when it happens, even if Joshua avenges defeat to Andy Ruiz, will never be as special as it could have been #JoshuaRuiz

Wilder, who lined up rematches with Luis Ortiz and Fury before the Joshua result, offered his own post-match remarks after the previously undefeated fighter's loss:

Deontay Wilder @BronzeBomber

He wasn’t a true champion. His whole career was consisted of lies, contradictions and gifts. Facts and now we know who was running from who!!!! #TilThisDay

Joshua did as well, and a rematch with Ruiz should be in the works based on comments made to Sports Illustrated's and DAZN USA's Chris Mannix (h/t ESPN's Ariel Helwani):

Ariel Helwani @arielhelwani

Anthony Joshua tells @SIChrisMannix afterwards that he plans on exercising his rematch clause. “100%,” he said.

If anything, Ruiz could also get a shot at Fury or Wilder at some point as a new heavyweight champion.

As for now, however, the first Mexican-American heavyweight champion in boxing history will bask in the glow of one of the more shocking displays this century.

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