When I looked at social media after the Joshua fight, it was painfully predictable. The ultra hipster boxing fans who have claimed Joshua was a hype job, with little basis in terms of fact, were happily posting how they knew that this would happen, it was only a matter of time, and Joshua was overhyped. People like to be different. They want to be individual and rebel against the typical public’s opinions. So many people have trashed Joshua since his debut, just to be different. These are the people who are revelling in Joshua’s loss because they “knew it would happen”. Frankly, it’s a little boring.
All fighters lose one time or another, whether they get a robbery decision they should have lost or not, you can’t win all of the time. This was the case last night for Joshua. As a pro, he has done everything asked of him, until he fought Ruiz, who deserves enormous credit.
While I’m disappointed Joshua lost his titles against in one of the most unlikely and surprising fashions against Andy Ruiz, one cannot help but give enormous credit to Ruiz. Joshua made mistakes, and he did not appear to be himself in there, but the way Ruiz got off the canvas to rip the titles from Joshua was incredible. He’s made history as the first Mexican heavyweight champion and secured his families future financially.
The question is, how did he do it?
When Joshua dropped Ruiz in the third, it looked as though that might be all she wrote. Ruiz had never obviously touched the canvas, and Joshua’s left hook was a phenomenal shot that would have finished 99.99% of heavyweights. When Joshua went in for the finish, he dropped his right hand, and Ruiz managed to find the perfect left hook to the temple.
I have personally competed at a relatively low level of amateur and unlicensed boxing. In my last fight, for the first time, I was caught clean in the temple. If you haven’t been punched there before, it’s a hard sensation to explain. Whether a big shot or not, it makes you become very fuzzy, you hear nothing but ringing for a second and it’s very hard to work out what to do. The hardest thing to do is to recover. In my fight, the referee gave me a standing eight count, and I was able to recover and go on to stop him.
At this very low standard of boxing, you more often than not get the chance to recover. A competent opponent would be able to jump on you and not allow you to recover. This is precisely what a skilled boxer, such as Ruiz, managed to do against Joshua. He caught him clean in the temple, and bombarded him with punches, not allowing Joshua to recover. This is why he was able to bully him and put him down twice, and that’s what won him the fight.
Joshua never recovered, potentially he could have been concussed, which is why he never recovered properly. However, this should certainly not detract from Ruiz’s remarkable showing.
Ruiz capitalised on Joshua’s mistake and shown how terrific a boxer he is himself. He deserved to win. It’s a shame for British fans, what we won’t see the undefeated clash of Fury and Joshua, and if Wilder can despatch Fury providing he beats Ortiz, and Joshua is unable to beat Ruiz in the rematch, they golden age of British heavyweight dominance may come to an end. I hope this is not the case, and I have faith that Fury will get the decision over Wilder and that Joshua can correct his mistakes in the Ruiz rematch. I hope the after last night, we can appreciate how lucky we are as British fans with the nights we have had in recent years, and that last night’s result is not the beginning of the end for us…
Without doubt, Ruiz’s shock win is one of the greatest boxing upsets I can remember of my fifteen years following boxing, and it shows you how magic the sport can be. Anyone can beat anyone on that given night if the stars align, and they aligned for Andy Ruiz. Take nothing away from him. He should be allowed to enjoy his moment; he’s earned that much. Whether Ruiz can do the same again in the rematch, or whether Joshua will avail, remains to be seen. The fact is they are both great heavyweight champions, and it was a much more competitive match than most anticipated.
While the boxing hipsters and the militant anti-Matchroomclub will delight in saying Joshua has no chin and that he is rubbish, that he should retire, they couldn’t be further away from the truth. He is a great fighter and has done everything asked of him until last night. I feel the rematch will make or break him, and I very much look forward to seeing it.
By Aaron Ludford for SimBoxx
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