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On this day: Andy Ruiz Jr. dethrones Anthony Joshua in explosive upset

Anthony Joshua v Andy Ruiz Jr. [image courtesy of Getty]
Anthony Joshua v Andy Ruiz Jr. [image courtesy of Getty]

On this day in boxing history, a momentous upset happened when Andy Ruiz Jr. defeated Anthony Joshua to become the Unified Heavyweight Champion.

Heading into the fight, Anthony Joshua was the heavy favorite to win. Prior to the fight, Joshua, nicknamed 'AJ', had an undefeated record of 22-0, with 21 KOs to his name. It was expected that the knockout artist would continue his reign at heavyweight and defeat Andy 'Destroyer' Ruiz Jr (32-1, 21 KOs pre-fight)

The original bout was supposed to take place between 'AJ' and Jarrell MilleR. Miller was replaced with Andy Ruiz Jr. after he failed three drug tests. At the time, Ruiz Jr. was ranked No.5 in the WBA, No.11 in the WBO, and No.14 in the IBF. Considered just a replacement, fans and boxers alike weren't expecting many fireworks from the fight.

He came into the match as a 25-1 underdog, but pulled out one of the biggest upsets in recent boxing history by ending Joshua's undefeated record with a technical knockout in the seventh round. TalkSPORT named the fight the second biggest upset in heavyweight boxing history after Mike Tyson vs. Buster Douglas.

Not only did Andy Ruiz Jr. create the biggest upset in recent history and end AJ's reign at heavyweight, but he also made history as the first Mexican Heavyweight World Champion.

πŸ—“ #OnThisDay in 2019, @Andy_destroyer1 captured the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles in New York. 🍎🍿 Down in the third round, Ruiz rallied to stop Anthony Joshua in seven rounds and shock the world... πŸŒπŸ”ž @Betfred Fight Odds: betfred.com/sports/market-… #Boxing https://t.co/YnSpbSkaWB

Andy Ruiz Jr.'s return to boxing

Andy Ruiz Jr. is set to make his return to the ring and face Luis Ortiz on August 13th at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, California.

Since losing his belts to AJ in their rematch, Ruiz Jr. has only fought once since 2019. After an 18 month layoff, he returned to win against Chris Arreola in May 2021 with a new coach in his corner, Eddy Reynoso, also the famous trainer of Canelo Alvarez.

His layoff since then has been due to a knee injury he sustained that required surgery to correct. Now making the return to the ring, it was reported by talkSPORT that he was ready to come back and shut down critics. His father, Andy Ruiz Sr., stated:

"Andy is very motivated, he is ready to show the world that he belongs to the elite of the heavyweights and that he is not afraid of anyone."

Ruiz Jr. posted this photo to his Instagram:

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Edited by John Cunningham
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