In front of a sold out crowd of 20,201 at Madison Square Garden and live on DAZN, Andy Ruiz, Jr. (33-1, 22 KOs) made boxing history by defeating heavyweight king Anthony Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) in his United States debut.
Ruiz, Jr. captured Joshua’s IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO World Heavyweight Championship titles in a thrilling upset that ended by technical knockout in the seventh round.
In the co-feature fight of the stacked undercard, undefeated WBA Super Middleweight World Champion Callum Smith (26-0, 19 KOs) successfully defended his title for the first time against former Middleweight World Champion Hassan N’Dam (37-4, 21 KOs). Katie Taylor (14-0, 6 KOs) and Delfine Persoon (43-2, 18 KOs) put on a show which the newly crowned undisputed World Female Lightweight Champion Katie Taylor called, “a fantastic showcase for women’s boxing.” Taylor narrowly defeated Persoon to capture the final piece of the lightweight title.
Earlier in the evening, Josh Kelly (9-0-1, 6 KOs) faced Ray Robinson (24-3-2, 12 KOs) in a back-and-forth affair that resulted in a majority draw. Joshua Buatsi (11-0, 9 KOs) put on an impressive performance during his U.S. debut against Marco Antonio Periban (25-5-1, 16 KOs), stopping the more experienced contender in the fourth round via technical knockout. In the opening bout of the evening, former World Champion Chris Algieri (24-3, 9 KOs) bested Tommy Coyle (25-5, 12 KOs) via technical knockout in a super lightweight contest.
On the fight: “Heavyweight boxing baby, thank you to the people who came out this evening. That’s number one. Thank you to DAZN, Sky Sports, Andy Ruiz. Heavyweight boxing is on fire. I just have to turn it around a few notches and bring it back my way. I don’t want people to drown in their sorrows. This will show I have the power and the strength.”
On the difference between tonight and being down against Wladimir Klitschko: “It’s all the same. It just wasn’t my night. But listen, it is good for the TV. Good for DAZN and the people watching.”
On the stoppage: “I want to fight. I don’t do his job. I am never one of those fighters to disrespect a referee like he should have done this, or he should have done that. He called it off when he thought I couldn’t fight. It’s a shame. But I don’t want anyone to drown in their sorrows. It’s the long game, not the short game.”
On the immediate rematch: “100%. 100%.”
ANDY RUIZ, JR.
On the upset victory: “I want to thank God for giving me this victory, without him this wouldn’t be possible. I just feel so good, man. This is what I have been dreaming about. This is what I have been working hard for. I can’t believe I just made my dreams come true. I just want to thank my team and my family. The sky is the limit, baby.”
On what happened in the third round: “That was my first time getting dropped on the floor. It just made me stronger. It just made me want it more. I just had to knock him down back.”
On taking Anthony Joshua’s power: “It’s because of the Mexican warrior I am, I have that Mexican blood in me. Talking about the Mexican fighting style, I just proved it.”
On sensing that Anthony Joshua was hurt: “I could but I just didn’t want to throw away what I had. I just wanted to hunt him down even more and work the body. I just wanted to listen to the game plan.”
On a rematch clause: “Of course man, right now, I just want to celebrate. I just made history for Mexico. This is what I have been dreaming about since I was six years old.”