Anthony Joshua is no longer the heavyweight champion of the world. Instead, in a moment to remind us all that sports are never predictable, Andy Ruiz Jr. walks away from Madison Square Garden as a holder of three out of four of the major boxing heavyweight titles.
It is an absolutely stunning turn of events — and it has all seemed to be going so routine. In the third round, Joshua dropped Ruiz with a cracker of a punch, before immediately swarming as soon as the referee restarted the action. Then, in the ensuing chaos, disaster.
Ruiz struck Joshua with a cracking combination, wobbling the champion and sending him to the canvas. After Joshua rose, his legs were clearly gone, and Ruiz sent him down again.
The next few rounds went by with both men recharging, before in the seventh Ruiz flew out with purpose and sent Joshua down again. The champion stood up, rinse and repeat, and the champion no longer.
Prior to the contest, promoter Eddie Hearn acknowledged there was a rematch clause in place, meaning Joshua vs. Ruiz Jr. II will almost certainly be next.
It marks Joshua’s first professional loss.
— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) June 2, 2019