Andy Ruiz Jr. disagrees with Arum about it not being the “real Joshua” he beat
By Aragon Garcia: Andy Ruiz Jr. doesn’t buy into what his former promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank is saying about that not being the “real Anthony Joshua” that was knocked out in the seventh round by him on June 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Arum says it was “someone else” that Ruiz beat on that night, because he maintains that he’s not a big enough puncher to do that to AJ.
Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) couldn’t handle Ruiz’s power whatsoever in that fight, as he was knocked down four times in the bout before the referee finally stopped it in the seventh round. Joshua was still standing at the time the fight was stopped, but he wasn’t showing any interest of resuming the fight.
AJ’s promoter Eddie Hearn says he would have kept getting up from being knocked down by Ruiz if the referee had let the fight continue. However, it didn’t look like Joshua would have been able to handle one more knockdown without him needing to be scooped up off the canvas with a giant spatula. Joshua looked hurt, and on weak legs when the referee stopped it. The fight had gotten to the point where was just bowling Joshua over in the same way boxing Jack Dempsey continually knocked Jess Willard down in their fight in July 1919. Joshua has no punch resistance by the seventh round.
Ruiz thinks Arum has sour grapes
“I don’t want to fight with an old man. I’m pretty sure he’s mad he wasn’t the one to get the first Mexican heavyweight champ,” said Ruiz Jr. to Fino Boxing.
Arum didn’t do much with Ruiz (33-1, 22 KOs) when he had him signed to Top Rank, which is kind of surprising. Ruiz looked good in his fights when he was with Arum, but the promoter did nothing with him. Even in Ruiz’s controversial loss to Joseph Parker in 2016, he looked impressive. Arum didn’t take advantage of Ruiz’s talent by matching him against quality fighters when he was with him. Aside from Parker, these are the best guys that Ruiz was matched against while he was with Top Rank: Joe Hanks, Tor Hamer, Manuel Quezada, and Siarhei Liakhovich.
Those aren’t good fighters. Liakovich was briefly a world champion a decade ago in 2006 when he upset Lamon Brewster by a 12 round unanimous decision to capture the WBO heavyweight belt. Likahovich then lost his WBO title in his first defense to Shannon Briggs in 2007. Seven years later, Ruiz beat Liakhovich by a 10 round unanimous decision in 2014 in a one-sided fight. Ruiz was matched too carefully by Top Rank. If they had taken the training wheels off, and put him in with good fighters, he might have a world title years ago. Somebody dropped the ball by not taking advantage of Ruiz’s talent.
Arum: That wasn’t the real Joshua that lost to Ruiz
“The Joshua that I saw on June 1st was an impostor. It wasn’t Joshua. It was somebody else,” said Top Rank boss Bob Arum to IFL TV. “The way he was acting before the fight, the way he carried himself in the fight, that was NOT Anthony Joshua. I don’t want to take anything away from Andy Ruiz, but he didn’t beat Anthony Joshua. He beat somebody else. That wasn’t Joshua. It was NOT Joshua! It was a different fighter. Andy Ruiz is not competitive with Joshua,” said Arum.
In the same interview, Arum states that Joshua will lose to Ruiz again. What this means is that Arum must think it was the real Joshua that lost to Ruiz, because if it wasn’t, then he shouldn’t lose to him twice, right? The fact that Arum thinks Joshua will get beaten in the rematch by Ruiz tells you that he thinks that Andy is the better fighter. What Arum should have said is Joshua isn’t the same fighter at this point in his career than he was earlier.
Time will tell whether Ruiz is the real thing or not. If he beats Joshua a second time, and then defeats Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, then you have to say Ruiz is legit. It won’t be easy for Ruiz to beat those guys. Tyson Fury will box, and try and make Ruiz look bad. The judges would have to decide whether to score rounds for Ruiz based on his harder landing shots or give the rounds to Fury with his matador tactics.
Whether it’s the money that has taken away Joshua’s skills or simply the wear and tear of some difficult fights is unclear. Joshua took some big shots in his fights with Wladimir Klitschko, Alexander Povetkin, Carlos Takam and Dillian Whyte. Joshua didn’t get hit a lot, but he didn’t have to. Those guys hit Joshua with hard enough shots to still do damage.
Another possibility is Joshua has put on too much muscle weight for him to be able to beat speedy fighters like Ruiz.
Joshua’s career could end soon
There’s the potential of Joshua hanging up his gloves if he suffers additional losses. He’s not the type to hang on as a struggling contender now that he’s made so much money from 2016 to 2019 as a world champion. The top fighters in the heavyweight division know how to beat Joshua now, so they’re going to make sure they take the fight to him by throwing combinations the way Ruiz did. If Joshua can’t take a punch, he’s going to get found out repeatedly, and it’ll be over with for him.