It was the fight in which there was only ever going to be one winner. Where the dominant super athlete defends his title against a late change, of little consequence opponent. A seemingly out of shape, undersized fighter, who’s external physical appearance had made him a betting long shot for all, except his most inner circle.
As Andy Ruiz signed on the dotted line to replace Jarrell Miller, “Big Baby” knew he was kissing away his biggest paycheck to date, due to failing a VADA drugs test.
From the outset, the California native, who considers himself a representative of Mexico, due to his family heritage, looked to shock the boxing world and become the first Mexican heavyweight champion. Also, he hoped to upset the oddsmakers and send the British superstar back to the UK without his belts.
The Snickers Guy
Could an athlete who’s main sponsor was Snickers, confound the masses? We were going to find out on June 1st when after a month’s preparation. Ruiz stepped into the ring at Madison Square Garden’s New York. With what was supposed to be Joshua’s grand unveiling to the mainstream American public, it quickly turned into a nightmare.
With promoter Eddie Hearn in the wings. And most likely the ink still wet on their newly signed contract with streaming giant DAZN, It was simply a matter of his fighter and Champion doing what he does best.
From the get-go, outside of a few flashes, the Champion, Anthony Joshua looked like he would cruise to yet another victory inside the squared circle.
Flooring Ruiz in the third round, it felt like the standard turning point in many of Joshua’s fights. When after inflicting the initial stunning blow, he would swarm his opponent by using every fibre of his stunning physique. To crush the man across from him and end the fight in decisive fashion.
However, Ruiz in his stubbornness and sheer toughness failed to play ball. Once Joshua had finished unloading, Ruiz fired back with his volley of punches. Returning the knockdown and signally to all who were watching that Anthony Joshua had indeed found himself a fight.
The competition would continue in a similar vein, with Ruiz dropping Joshua a total of four times. It was after the fourth and final time that the champion turned to the referee and looked uninterested in continuing the fight.
And with that, the world saw its first-ever Mexican heavyweight boxing champion.
Now some two months later and the rumour mill once again is beginning to turn its wheels. The reality of a new deal for a rematch looks close to finally being realized. The champion was adamant that he would not be making his way across the pond to face the challenger in his backyard. His preference, no doubt, would have pushed for a more favourable location for his Latino fanbase.
It now looks as though neither fighter got their first preference. In typical fashion, the big money men stepped in, waived some big numbers around. To lure the pair to the not so Mecca of boxing, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
And with such striking disparities of opinion on who will win the second fight. It’s a rematch to tickle the senses and get the punters thinking.
Could we be looking at a quick out of the gates start by Joshua to seal the deal. Or will Ruiz look to once again outbox the bigger man? With so many odds available from a first-round stoppage to the full 12 rounder fans need to do their pre-fight homework to find what best suits their punt.
Check out the lay of the land from the people who know best with a BoyleSports full review. And see where you think this clash of these two very different fighters will ultimately go.
It’s a fascinating fight and win lose or draw, will decide so much for the future of both men. And those would-be challengers waiting patiently in the wings.
Images courtesy of straitstimes.com, dazn.com, boxingnewsonline.net