On Saturday, June 1, 2019, Andy Ruiz–the pudgy pugilist of Mexican decent–shocked the sports world by knocking out the previously unbeaten and unified Heavyweight titleholder, Anthony Joshua.
A late replacement, Ruiz was ridiculed during the fight week press conference leading up to his title shot against Joshua because he didn’t have the physique of a champion (or so we thought) and he genuinely just looked happy to be part of such a big event.
Ruiz looked ecstatic simply to have the opportunity to hold the belts, let alone fight for them.
In fact, if you checked out any of the major boxing betting sites leading up to the bout, you would have been met with shockingly large odds in favor of Anthony Joshua–something to the tune of -3500.
At +1200, Ruiz was a nice option for a moneyline bet–meaning if you laid $100 down on him winning, you would’ve won $1200 in return.
So while fans, bookies and most everyone else outside of Ruiz’s family picked Joshua by knockout–the unthinkable actually happened on June 1.
Ruiz stood up to the giant, took his best shot and then landed a few cracking blows of his own.
Four knockdowns later, Ruiz had made history and the rest–as they say–is history. So now we have a rematch scheduled to take place in Saudi Arabia on December 7, where Joshua will get a chance to immediately win back the titles he lost earlier this year and Ruiz will get a chance to prove the naysayers wrong once again.
Some would say this is a good call–go back immediately for revenge–while others hate it. Jarrett Hurd just felt the wrath of the interwebs earlier this week when he backed out of his scheduled (immediate) rematch against Julian Williams.
To each his own. There is no correct way to rebound from a loss or deal with such a huge victory for that matter. Ruiz now has the mansion, the car and the belts–but can he keep them?
Problem with this is that his hunger wont be as great in the rematch. All this and the air being blown up his ass will be his failure.
— TVoR-Returns (@TvorR) August 3, 2019
So many people are quick to point out that because Ruiz has enjoyed the fruits of his labor that he will be less focused or hungry when he defends his titles for the first time.
But, if Ruiz’s comments during this past weeks press tour is indicative of his mindset, it seems that he’s ready to shock the world yet again.
“I’ve been through so many roller coasters in my life, so many doubters in my life telling me I wasn’t gonna do nothing just because of my appearance, the way I look,” said Ruiz. “But, at least I think I’m proof–where people can say man, if he did it, I can do it. And they could. As long as you train hard, you dedicate yourself and you believe what you want to do.”
Ruiz–optimistic smile and all–is looking and saying all the right things just like he did ahead of the first Joshua fight. We’ve seen him shut down critics once, so why should we believe that he can’t do it again?
Will the “Clash on the Dunes” prove to be another monumental night for Andy Ruiz or will Anthony Joshua get his revenge?