In boxing, and especially in the Heavyweight division, anything can happen.
Ruiz, who now holds three of the four major Heavyweight titles, accepted the bout on short notice and few, if any, gave him a chance to win.
When fight night came, however, Ruiz got up off the canvas when he was knocked down and fought back, using his superior hand speed to land vicious combinations on Joshua, while proving that even the most overlooked fighters can rise to the occasion.
Moving forward, Ruiz and Joshua will likely have an immediate rematch later this year, but the fact remains that Joshua’s loss has had a major impact on not only the Heavyweight division, but on the sport of boxing as a whole.
For quite some time now, many considered a bout between Joshua and WBC titleholder Deontay Wilder to be the biggest that boxing had to offer. While that fight could still happen at some point, it’ll never reach the magnitude that it could have had it taken place prior to Joshua’s loss.
Similarly, a bout between Joshua and Tyson Fury, a fellow Englishman and the man considered to be the lineal Heavyweight champion, could still occur though it will never have the same buzz around it as it once could’ve.
In fact, Fury recently explained to Lance Pugmire of The Athletic how much of an impact Ruiz winning had on a bout between him and Joshua.
“When Ruiz won, it cost me $50 million, because that’s how much I would’ve made to fight Joshua,” said Fury. “So thank you to Andy Ruiz for that $50 million loss.”
Because of that, “The Gypsy King” cannot afford to take his next fight lightly because as it turns out, he’s actually in a similar position to the one Joshua was in prior to his bout with Ruiz.
On Saturday, June 15, Fury will fight for the first time under the Top Rank banner, taking on the relatively unknown Tom Schwarz.
Now, Ruiz and Schwarz aren’t completely comparable, as Ruiz had challenged for a recognized world title prior to meeting Joshua, but they are comparable in the fact that Ruiz was not given a chance against Joshua and Schwarz isn’t being given a chance against Fury.
And while it’s true that this bout represents a bit of a tune-up for Fury, Ruiz proved that anything can happen inside the squared circle. And Schwarz is indeed a talented competitor, as he holds an undefeated record that features 16 wins by knockout.
Whether or not he can compete with Fury, however, is a different story, but the point is that The Gypsy King cannot afford to take him lightly. And that’s not to say that Fury is or ever would, but if he does, he could end up in quite a similar spot as Joshua.
Also, a loss for Fury here would be incredibly detrimental to his career. As he mentioned, he’s already lost out on millions in regard to a potential clash with Joshua. If he were to now lose, he’d also lose out on his rematch with Wilder.
Last December, Wilder and Fury battled for 12 rounds in a thriller that ended in a split draw. The two are now expected to rematch early next year in what will be one of the most anticipated Heavyweight fights in years.
That, however, all goes out the window if Fury gets upset this weekend. For that reason, he must remain focused and look at this fight as if it’s the biggest of his life. Despite what many are saying about Schwarz, Fury needs to ignore it.
The Gypsy King needs to show up on Saturday night and put on a show. He needs to be the best Tyson Fury possible.