NEW YORK — Andy Ruiz had six weeks to prepare for the fight of his life. He’ll have a lifetime to celebrate one of the biggest stunners in heavyweight boxing history.
Ruiz became the first man of Mexican descent to win a heavyweight title by flattening Britain’s Anthony Joshua twice in the seventh round, capping one of boxing’s biggest upsets Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
Joshua was the fan favorite and had all the hype for his first fight in the United States.
Ruiz, a 30-1 underdog, won it by TKO at 1:27 of the seventh round to become the champion in a bout that had shades of Buster Douglas’ upset over Mike Tyson in 1990. Ruiz barely was on anyone’s heavyweight radar when he was summoned as a replacement to fight Joshua.
Ruiz raised his arms in celebration and jumped around the ring as his corner quickly mobbed him and a wild celebration kicked off.
“I just feel so good, man,” Ruiz said. “This is what I’ve been dreaming about, this is what I’ve been working hard for. I can’t believe I just made my dreams come true.”
Photo: Frank Franklin II / Associated Press
Image 1 1
Joshua and Ruiz were both knocked down in an electrifying third round that had the sellout crowd of 20,201 howling with each heavy hit. Joshua knocked down Ruiz early in the round and an early finish seemed to be on the horizon.
Ruiz, his trunks a bit too low for his 270-pound frame, came right back and used an overhand right that stunned the champ and sent him to the canvas. Joshua recovered only to get pummeled in the corner and lose his legs. Ruiz knocked him down again in the final ticks of the round.
Ruiz knocked down Joshua twice more in the seventh before referee Mike Griffin ended the fight.
“I’ve got that Mexican blood in me,” Ruiz said. “Talking about the Mexican style? I just proved it.”
When Jarrell Miller’s failed drug tests sent him to the sideline, Ruiz stepped in as a replacement after fighting April 20. Ruiz (33-1, 21 KO’s) seized the opportunity and made boxing history to win the WBA/IBF/WBO/IBO championships.
“Sorry I let my fans down, sorry I let my supporters down,” Joshua said.
Dan Gelston is an Associated Press writer.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Andy-Ruiz-stuns-Anthony-Joshua-for-heavyweight-13916679.php.