Ruiz upset of Joshua helps heavyweight division

June 3, 2019

The biggest upset in boxing this year, and perhaps in several years, occurred at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night as Andy Ruiz, Jr. stopped Anthony Joshua in the seventh round.  The upset victory put a damper on the first appearance in the United States for one of the best in the world in the heavyweight division.

Ruiz knocked Joshua down 4 times in the fight.  Twice in the third round and another two in the seventh round with the last ending the night.

Ruiz was a fill-in for the original opponent for Joshua, Jarell Miller, after Miller tested positive for PEDs.

The loss may be seen as a setback for DAZN, which lists Joshua as one of its pillars in its boxing arm.  Last month, Canelo Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs fought on the digital platform.  Next week, Gennady Golovkin fights on the digital platform hoping not to fall to an opponent seen as a huge underdog.  Joshua, Canelo and GGG are three of the top boxers that have committed to DAZN as the company has offered each lucrative multi-fight, multi-year deals.

The upset derails a possible matchup with Deontay Wilder which was projected for 2020.  Wilder has inked a deal to fight Luis Ortiz again this fall.  Then, there is Tyson Fury.  The heavyweight that resurrected his career with his draw against Wilder last November is now looking for a rematch with Wilder.  But Fury must get past relatively unknown Tom Schwarz on June 15th for any talk of a rematch to occur.

Ruiz became the first Mexican American Heavyweight Champion and ascended to the short list of heavyweights that can demand big paydays from promoters.

The good news for Ruiz was that he professed to eating Snickers candy bars before fights.  On social media, Snickers gave him a shout out, and according to its twitter, sent him a care package:

In a free-rider sort of way, it also took advantage of Ruiz’s win:

In addition to Snickers, other sports celebrities’ game him props:

All is not lost for Joshua, although the luster of a matchup of undefeated fighters with Wilder or even Fury will no longer happen.  Big money fights are still on the horizon.  He still could sell out Wembley Stadium in a return against Ruiz or an eventual showdown with Wilder or Fury.  Despite the loss, we know that boxing forgets about these blemishes so long as the fighter returns to form.  Even a big fight showdown can still happen.  When Manny Pacquiao was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez, all thought that the superfight with Floyd Mayweather would not happen.  In fact, the fight did come to fruition and made big money at the gate and PPV.

While the boxing timeline may have been pushed back due to the upset, Ruiz’s win likely made the division that much more interesting and gave promoters more viable matchups to work with and push.


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