New York, June 2, 2019 (Reuters/NAN)
Andy Ruiz Jr. stopped British title-holder Anthony Joshua in the seventh round of their fight in New York on Saturday to become the first Mexican-American heavyweight world champion.
Joshua, previously undefeated, was defending his IBF, WBA and WBO titles but was knocked down four times before underdog Ruiz was awarded a technical knockout.
Ruiz, a late stand-in following Jarrell Miller’s failed drugs tests, has proved refreshing and eye-catching in fight week.
But the 29-year-old was not expected to be a Deontay Wilder, the WBC champion, and nor was he former world champion Tyson Fury.
However Ruiz, born in the US to Mexican parents, seemed to care little for his underdog status.
He walked around media events at ease all week, stressing he would become Mexico’s first world heavyweight champion.
At 6ft 2 in, he is four inches shorter than Joshua and he has taken to studying Mike Tyson, a man who destroyed countless taller opponents and is one of Joshua’s heroes.
He had vowed to bring the renowned ‘Mexican style’, where fighters pressure opponents and often take shots in order to land work of their own.
Ruiz’s win makes him to stand out.
Alongside the likes of James ‘Buster’ Douglas — who conquered Tyson — and Hasim Rahman — who humbled Lewis, he is now a fighter who has sent a shockwave through boxing