It’s hard-wired within us all to associate Muscle with toughness, envious looks across a gym environment towards the guy lifting numerous plates, grunting for all to hear like a call of the wild whilst blood vessels pop from under his 5% body fat frame, these behemoths are looked upon as the Alpha’s to the less studied, a statement very true in a bodybuilding context but again on Saturday night we witnessed with our own eyes that Muscle counts for very little between those squared off ropes of a boxing ring, proving the point valid as the apparently out of shape Andy Ruiz put a full stop to the Goliath of the division in Anthony Joshua’s reign as the divisions ruler.
On Social media, throughout the week leading up to Saturday’s bout, Ruiz was lambasted with an abundance of jokes about his size without any thought whatsoever that this guy could actually fight.
I found myself embroiled in a twitter tread making the case for post after post on why the fight was so intriguing, finding examples of such by examining his amateur background/past fights but for the most part found myself banging my head against a wall as the replies came thick and fast of opinion that I knew f**k all and the fight was a mismatch.
We now know that this wasn’t the case, given the answer that It was by no means a mismatch, in fact, it could be argued that it was in favour of the Mexican who after taking a hellacious shot from Joshua in the third, took a moment to clear his head before returning to his feet to drop the now former champion four times on route to a stoppage victory.
The outcry from fight fans for an explanation of the unthinkable unfolding filled the spaces of social networking sites in the aftermath, with far too much emphasis on reasoning outside the fight itself.
Some donned the psychologist cap whilst others played amateur detective in determined efforts to get to the bottom of why Joshua lost.
The rumour mill went into overdrive with reports of Panic attacks, an overlooked challenge and some suggesting that he had previously been knocked out by European champion Agit Kabayel all of which are hearsay until we are presented with concrete proof from someone other than websites using the headline for click bait.
The simple truth of the matter was that Ruiz Jr was a lot better than most gave him credit for plus Joshua’s own actions were of his undoing.
The third round was the beginning of the end, it was a round that we had played multiple times in our head beforehand, right out of the script as Joshua dropped Ruiz with a left hand. Ordinarily the fat lady would be clearing her throat in indication that the end was near but a quick glance at Ruiz would indicate an unhurt fighter, his eyes clear, looking more bemused than the wounded animal that Joshua had judged him to be, it was the actions that followed that would derail the champions course, wadding in with an abandonment of caution believing the end to be near.
Joshua we know is a proficient finisher but on this occasion he hadn’t figured that Ruiz was ready and waiting to take the bait of trading with him on his return to his feet, dropping Joshua hard with a shot to the top of the head.
A shot I believe in particular temporarily relieved Joshua of his faculties, enough to have him telling his corner in-between rounds ‘Why am I feeling like this though?’ or his asking of McCracken of ‘What Shots Will Catch Him?’
I know first hand the repercussions of suffering from a concussion which was the effects I was witnessing that Joshua was reliving, giving the impression of being disinterested but in reality unable to comprehend the moment he was in. for the record, I also don’t buy into the talk of him quitting either.
Again if he was going through the effects of suffering from a concussive state then that would explain the lack of eagerness to show the referee more willingness to continue. Thought processes are harder to determine, the brain is protecting itself and I believe the referee was right in his halting of the contest, alarm bells sound have sounded earlier to his corner who found Joshua out of character after that third round.
This is however not to take anything away from the new unified king of boxing glory division, All the subject matter that has been listed above I feel take away from a victory of Historic propositions in that Ruiz became the first Mexican Heavyweight World Champion.
In the run-up to the contest he told all that would listen of his intentions on unseating Boxing’s Goldenboy while insisting that financial gain was not his primary focus, a boast that mostly fell on deaf ears to the mainstream who found that the physique and a brief google search enough to find reasoning that there was no way in hell in which he could exit this particular fight victorious, the guy had already lost a fight to Joseph Parker a fighter that Joshua had beaten so easily, this is the reasoning behind some of the debate, I joke not.
More research would have found a fighter with over a hundred amateur wins, one with quick hands, solid shot selection and the stamina to easily go the twelve round distance, oh and one who should have had his hand raised in New Zealand over the aforementioned loss, but that’s one of opinion also.
I suppose it was those same detractors that were made to eat their words as the new champ would do a Snicker bar with a feeling of ‘I told you so’ etched on the faces of his following support/camp and ultimately from the man who now holds four of the division’s titles.
Viva La Mexico
ALL HAIL THE QUEEN OF THE LIGHTWEIGHT DIVISION
What a fight to further promote the advances of Women’s boxing to a wider viewing audience, following on from the undisputed contest that found Claressa Shields topple Germany’s Christina Hammer we had the pleasure of watching another of the sports best try to replicate the feat as Katie Taylor took on Delfine Persoon for all the marbles at Lightweight.
In a dogfight, the usually technical Taylor was caught up in a toe to toe exchange with the aggressive Persoon, early exchanges were won by Taylor who used her brilliant footwork to step around/out of the dangerous swinging shots from the Belgian.
The fight provided glimpses of Ricardo Mayorga Vs. Vernon Forrest or Orlando Salido Vs. Vasyl Lomachenko in that Persoon used her size and veteran tactics to rough up the Bray native, but on this occasion, unlike the two examples, the boxer came out on top.
As the fight wore on it was Persoon who was answering the majority of the questions being asked of her, coming on strong as the will of Taylor started to wilt under the extreme pressure.
The contests close brought with it the uncertainty of a winner, I had it going to Taylor by a point but wouldn’t have argued the case of Persoon getting the nod, in the end, a majority decision was rendered with Taylor being named the Undisputed queen of the lightweight division.
Such was the disgust from Persoon, she left the ring immediately after the announcement with a shake of a finger in indication that she felt she had been robbed of a career’s best win whilst I am sure many of you believe her to be right in her thinking, but one thing is for sure I for one am already eagerly anticipating a rematch between the two which both ladies have already showed interest in.
SMITH EYES CANELO FIGHT AFTER SENDING N’DAM PACKING
More Performances like the one witnessed on Saturday night and Callum Smith will have scared away any thoughts of a lucrative fight with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
Whenever seeing Smith step onto the scales the night before a fight, I always think to myself that It’s got to be a Houdini act that he still manages to make the Super Middleweight limit, somehow he does, much to the detriment of the rest of division.
Again he showed in his three-round blowout of Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam that he is far and away the best the division as to offer with attempts now on luring Canelo into taking the bait of proving the point to the watching public.
A SIGH OF RELIEF FOR KELLY AS HE RETURNS WITH HIS UNBEATEN RECORD IN TACT……BUT ONLY MARGINALLY
A sigh of relief must have been heard from Matchroom supremo Eddie Hearn following what some claimed a fortuitous draw handed to Josh Kelly in his pursuit of titles against Ray Robinson.
Luckily for him he managed to secure some of the early rounds as Robinson came back with vengeance to give the judges at ringside a headscratcher as they hurriedly tallied up their scores, in the end, both men had to settle for a draw but Kelly will be leaving America knowing that more needs to be improved if he is to bridge the gap to Elite status within the division.
Until next week thank you for checking out #MyTake as we look forward to another weekend of great action.