‘What happened’? – Boxing world puzzled by Joshua’s shocking defeat

Mazino Dickson

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Boxing fans and pundits are still in a puzzle over the shocking loss of Nigerian-British title-holder Anthony Joshua to Mexican-American Andy Ruiz Jr. in New York on Saturday.

Joshua was defending his IBF, WBA and WBO titles; but was knocked down four times before underdog Ruiz was awarded a technical knockout.

Ruiz Jr. was basically a replacement for Jarrell Miller and barely trained for six weeks.

Nobody saw this coming…not even the most ardent Mexican boxing fan!

Shocked

Many boxing fans, who until Saturday night had never hears of Ruiz jr., expressed real surprise at the outcome.

Wilder speaks

Deontay Wilder, the WBC champion who many expected would give Joshua a real run for his money in the months ahead, wasted no time in taking to twitter to react to the shocking loss.

His co-manage,  Shelly Finkel described the result as very surprising and unexpected.

“It was very surprising, to say the least,” Finkel exclusively told World Boxing News on Sunday morning.

“After Ruiz was dropped in the third he came roaring back and showed his grit. I think Joshua also got stung by a body shot in the sixth.

“The seventh was the end and I believe Anthony Joshua just didn’t want it anymore.

“What we witnessed was a true ‘Rocky’ story for Andy Ruiz Jr.

“I’m happy for Ruiz, but at the same time, I’m sad for Joshua. We will see if he can overcome this adversity,” he added.

Resurrection

Not everyone has given up on Joshua though.

Tyson Fury, one of the main heavyweight boxing contenders, said Joshua must put aside his setback and rise again.

“We have our back and Forth’s but Anthony Joshua changed his stars through life. Heavyweight boxing, these things happen, rest up, recover, regroup and come again,” he said.

Fortunately, there will be a rematch before the end of the year – this time in England.

Due to the rematch clause, Joshua will have an immediate chance to win back his belts, this time in his own backyard.

“Now we’ll see what AJ is about. He’s got the heart of a lion, I’m sure he’ll come back. Now we know what fight is next, and we’ll see a huge rematch at the end of the year.

“Maybe this is what he needs. He’ll have another shot at Ruiz later but he needs to win, it’s a must win fight for him now,” said Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn.

And despite the devastating defeat, Joshua walked away with $20 million while his opponent got $ 5 million.

But for now, Joshua and many boxing fans will continue to ponder on what happened at Madison Square garden for a very long time.