Saturday, June 1 st from New York, New York
Anthony Joshua/Andy Ruiz Jr.
In the biggest upset in the Heavyweight division since 2001 when Hasim Rahman KO’d Lennox Lewis, Andy Ruiz Jr. defeated Anthony Joshua via TKO in the 7th round.
This fight was supposed to be the beginning of the U.S. takeover by the British undefeated unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. Instead it became a disaster for him. Joshua (22-1, 21 KO’s) started slowly in the first two rounds feeling out the shorter challenger. Things lit up in the potential fight of the year in the 3rd round when Joshua connected with a right uppercut and followed with a left hook to the head to floor Ruiz. Ruiz beat the count and Joshua went in for the kill by connecting with a massive straight right. Ruiz rallied and dropped Joshua with a well-timed left hook to the temple. Joshua beat the count but was very unsteady as he attempted to finish the round. With ten seconds remaining, Ruiz sent Joshua to the canvas for a second time. Joshua once again beat the count and was saved by the bell
Both fighters seemed to have been gassed in the 4th with neither landing much. In the fifth and sixth rounds both fighters had nice exchanges but Joshua seemed to be drunkenly swaying around the ring.
Finally in the seventh round Ruiz (33-1, 22 KO’s) walked Joshua down and delivered a barrage of unanswered punches and dropped him for the third time. Like a rerun, Joshua beat the count but Ruiz clocked him again sending him to a knee. Joshua appeared to spit out his mouthpiece as he beat the count and walked to his corner in a daze. The referee asked him if he could continue and Joshua indicated that he could but he put his arms on the ropes with his back leaning on the post. Referee had seen enough and waved off the fight.
Ruiz ran to the middle of the ring jumping up and down with his trainer Manny Robles celebrating one of the greatest upsets in boxing history.
“I just feel so good, man. This is what I have been dreaming about,” Ruiz said of becoming the first ever Mexican heavyweight champion of the world. “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!”
Joshua was gracious in defeat and indicated that there is a rematch clause that he will exercise with a bout likely in November or December in the UK.
Callum Smith/Hassan N’Dam
Callum Smith defended his WBA super middleweight title with an impressive stoppage of challenger Hassan N’Dam in the third round.
Smith (26-0, 19 KO’s) nailed N’Dam with a left hook late in the first round sending him to the floor. N’Dam quickly beat the count but seemed disoriented. He went down again but the referee ruled that Smith had pushed him to the ground.
In the second round it was much of the same as Smith again caught N’Dam with a left hook late in the round that put him on his back. N’Dam beat the count and survived the round. Late in the 3rd Smith finally put N’Dam (37-4, 21 KO’s) out of his misery with a monstrous right hand that made N’Dams head bounce off the canvas.
After the fight Smith made it known that he wants to fight Canelo Alvarez at 168 pounds. This fight is doable considering both fighters are on the same platform with DAZN.
Katie Taylor/Delfine Persoon
Former Olympic gold medalist Katie Taylor unified all four women’s lightweight titles via majority decision against Delfine Persoon. The judge scored it 96-94, 96-94 for Taylor and a third judge had it 95-95.
The fight was action packed from the start and never let up. Persoon’s awkward, unorthodox style seemed to frustrate Taylor throughout the fight. Taylor (14-0, 6 KO’s) was often backed up against the ropes and countering Persoon’s shots.
“I’m definitely fine to give Delfine a rematch if she wants but there’s big fights out there for me, the obvious one is Amanda Serrano,” Taylor said after the fight. “I think that I’m happy to fight whoever’s put in front of me.”
Persoon (43-2, 18 KO’s) quickly left the ring in tears after the decision was read.
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