From Underdog To Champion: Inside The Crazy Fight That Made Andy Ruiz Jr. Own The Heavyweight Title (6/3/19)

30-1 are not great odds. Most people know that. It certainly doesn’t bother Andy Ruiz Jr. though.

Last night the whole world witnessed the upbringing of a complete unorthodox fighter. Ruiz started out the fight getting knocked down in the third round. While he was on the floor, he seemed to have an indescribable look in his eye: “The Eye of the Tiger.” I mean come on! He is even nicknamed “The Mexican Rocky.” He didn’t want to give up. There was total desperation; he was given the boxing match of a lifetime and certainly wasn’t going to give up the fight (Both figuratively and literally).

Before I mention any more, let’s back up a bit and examine the matchup.

Anthony Joshua (29), then the heavyweight champion of the world, is 6’6″, weighs a lean 247.8 pounds, and can reach 82″. Andy Ruiz Jr. is quite different. He is also 29 years old but is only 6’2″, weighs 268 pounds, and can only reach 74″. Comparing the two, there are two obvious differences: height and weight. Anthony Joshua has the greater height advantage, which means that he naturally can extend his arms farther to jab and cross. But don’t let his leanness cloud your judgement, for Ruiz’s weight might have just helped him win the fight.

Let’s jump back into the fight. Picture the scene. The tall, lean, and more-famous heavyweight boxer is standing right in front of a shorter, heavier, and less-known boxer. They have just locked eyes. Something comes into Andy and he jumps up. Throughout the next four rounds, Ruiz was a complete and utter savage. Through multiple punch-duck-punch combos, he ultimately was able to land some clean swings at Joshua behind the ears, and dropped him! Then Anthony got back up — as most predicted — and came back for more of the fight. He tried to lure Ruiz Jr. into some jab traps, but he didn’t fall for them one bit. Punch after punch, he kept on bringing it and landing hooks behind A.J.’s ears. Finally, after he had fallen three times, the referee called the fight for concerns that Joshua might be completely defenseless.

I can only think of two explanations for why this went so wrong for the heavyweight champion of the world.


1. Ruiz had the weight advantage. Despite the way it looks, weight has a severe impact on boxing in a fight. Despite the struggle for fast punches, there still is more momentum with this kind of boxer. If used properly, these boxers can be some of the most damaging.


2. Joshua was used all of the money and fame with everything to lose. He might not have had the same drive that the “Mexican Rocky” had. Andy needed the win. He was ready to do whatever it took to get that belt and become the next heavyweight champion of the world.


To sum it all, I could not believe what I was seeing Saturday night during the fight. 30-1, HA! I guess sometimes in life we get caught up so much in people’s past achievements that we automatically associate them with victory and success. I personally was guilty of that this fight — but now I know that no matter what past achievements we have in life in terms of competition, the individual who has the most grit will win in the end.