Dates, Locations Confirmed For Ruiz-Joshua Rematch
By: Sean Crose
Boxing Insider can confirm a report from England’s The Sun that two dates – along with two possible locations – have been set for the much anticipated rematch between current WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz, and the man he dethroned in stunning fashion earlier this month, Anthony Joshua. The two possible locations are Madison Square Garden in New York, which was the location of the first match between the two men, or Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. Should the rematch go down in New York, it will be on November 29th or December 7th. Should the bout go down in Wales, it will be on December 14th.
Fight fans were stunned several weeks ago when the undefeated Joshua, who was making his American debut, was dropped four times and stopped by the rugged Ruiz, who, despite having a single controversial loss on his own resume, wasn’t given much of a chance walking in. Getting up off the mat early on, however, Ruiz engaged ferociously yet intelligently with Joshua, eventually beating his man up thoroughly before the fight was stopped. The fact that Joshua looked like an Adonis while Ruiz showcased the body of your average middle aged softball player only served to add irony to the already shocking moment.
Not only did Ruiz pull off what will most certainly end up being the upset of the year in boxing, he also sent shock waves through the heavyweight division’s current pecking order. Joshua was seen as the dominant force in the division, with three major belts, but with hard hitting American Deontay Wilder holding the WBC title, and the gregarious Tyson Fury laying claim to the lineal championship of the world (which arguably dates back to the time of at least John L Sullivan in the late 1800s), it seemed as if there would be an inevitable three way run off to see who the true king of heavyweights was.
Now, however, Joshua is looking to regain his belts with a devastating loss on his record, while the Snickers Bar loving Ruiz is the toast of the fight game. Should Joshua win in the rematch, there may even be a third fight before he moves on to Wilder or Fury. Should Ruiz win again, however, the Californian might find himself in the enviable position Joshua himself did until recently – that of the man with the most belts firmly in his possession.
Hearn claims that the final date and location of the fight would be made “within 48 hours.”
Can Anthony Joshua Succeed in a Rematch Against Andy Ruiz Jr?
By: Waqas Ali
Former unified world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua looks to be in the hopes of a rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr later this year.
The fight is expected to take place in the U.S at Madison Square Garden. Some have speculated it to be set in the UK. However, nothing has been officially confirmed by either camp or even Eddie Hearn.
Joshua, 29, in light of the rematch will be coming back from a devastating loss that shocked the boxing world.
He came in the bout unbeaten with 22 wins in the bag and expected to finish off Ruiz in a couple of rounds.
Ruiz (33-1) on the hand was quickly dismissed to his size and physique. He came in to the fight weighing 268 pounds.
The Mexican-American fighter convinced everyone that he wasn’t going to be taken lightly as they thought.
He came back from a knockdown in round three and produced two of his own in the exact same round.
From rounds three to six, Ruiz was dominating and breaking the range as Joshua had no answer to his attack. In round seven, Ruiz produced another knockdowns and stopped Joshua.
He became the second fighter of Latino heritage to become a world heavyweight champion and the first ever Mexican to win it.
After the fight, several theories ran around the boxing world considering Joshua’s performance.
The fact that he had a panic attack, was dropped in sparring a week before, given a massage in the changing room, didn’t train in his boxing properly and focused on weights, took a picture with Drake or the fact that he had nerves fighting abroad in an arena and a crowd that he wasn’t familiar with back in the UK.
Other than the theory of the curse of Drake, nothing of the other theories have been proven or even confirmed by Joshua.
It seemed that Joshua was simply out-boxed and out-worked.
Fighters such as former two-time world light-welterweight champion Amir Khan and one of boxing’s greatest fighters of all time Roy Jones Jr have insisted that a rematch with Ruiz is not a good option for ‘AJ’.
One of boxing’s respected trainers in the business Freddie Roach also stated that Joshua wouldn’t be able to win in a rematch.
Even Ruiz himself believes that Joshua is no match for him in the rematch.
“The rematch is going to be the same. I am going to be more prepared and more ready,” Ruiz said.
“I know his flaws. I can do a lot better. The only thing that he can do is just run around, he’s not good at boxing.”
But the question remains is what improvements does Joshua have to make and can he avenge his loss?
Based on his reach (82”) and height (6 foot 6), the Englishman needs to keep the fight at long range and maintain the distance from Ruiz.
By maintaining distance, he needs to use the ring more and get a feel of it. Jab constantly on the outside to keep Ruiz from attacking and retaliating. But throw power punches to the body with consistency.
By doing that, it will slow the pace and stamina of Ruiz and tire him out. It is a must move and he has to avoid any exchanges on the inside considering the questionable chin of Joshua.
According to Compubox, Joshua landed only one power shot to Ruiz’s body.
Smaller fighters tend be more threatening on the inside because of their small reach and height and the power they possess when providing shots. The speed and capability of 29-year-old Ruiz is not be underestimated and clearly this has proven fourth.
The punches of Ruiz are sweet to see but sour to taste.
On whether he’d look to fight Fury or Wilder if he beats Joshua in their rematch later this year, he told K.O. Artist Sports: ‘First I want to focus on the rematch. You know a lot of people, and I’m speaking to Joshua too, because he was overlooking me and saying “After I beat Andy I’m going to fight Wilder” and this and that, instead of being focused on me. ‘I think that’s what I want to do right now, just focus on the rematch. I don’t care who I’m going to fight next after I win, the main thing right now is just to fight Anthony Joshua and beat him.
Considering all the evidence bought forward, it is clear that Joshua has to win the rematch in order to be back in the frame of the boxing heavyweight limelight.
Nobody will know what was going through Joshua’s mind on the night of the fight but one can speculate possibilities as to what really affected him mentally and psychologically.
However, one cannot take away the credibility, dedication and comeback from Ruiz. He proved to the boxing world that judging a fighter based on his size is an underestimation.
A great shock he provided and without doubt one of the biggest upsets in modern boxing. A true fan favourite and astonishing figure in his home country of America and national origin of Mexico. A fighting champion. For Mexico. For America.
Anthony Joshua: Defeated by an Ordinary Hero
By: Oliver McManus
There’s an American legend that tells of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Library in San Diego; an apparently perfect piece of manmade design. Except when it was being designed the architect forgot to allow for the weight of the books, leaving the third floor completely empty as cracks began to appear, literally, in the foundations – at least that’s the fantasised version: in reality it’s just an open forum. The expertly chiselled physique of Anthony Joshua, the last known gift from the Greek gods as they seek to atone for that pesky wooden horse, begins to echo the fable of the library as his status slowly sinks – meticulous design let down by a blip of the mind.
Reflecting on the seismic surprise from the weekend is an arduous task as you seek to strike the right balance between telling the ‘headline’ – Anthony Joshua losing his world titles in unprecedented circumstances – and telling the ‘story’ – Andy Ruiz’ rise from an impoverished background to unified champion of the world. Everyone was a critic when the fight was announced, myself included, for varying reasons. For me it was the ongoing saga that started with “AJ commit(ing) his future to Wembley” and ended up with a, seemingly, uninspiring opponent on just a few weeks notice all the while sitting behind pay-per-view. For others it was the aesthetics of Andy Ruiz that provided a few easy potshots.
Ruiz who should, by rights and record, be viewed as an established heavyweight in a dwindling throng of contenders was denigrated by an age where Twitter opinions read like a gravestone. It was easy to get taken in by the swamp of people who were writing Ruiz off – after all why should he have stood a chance against the immortalised powers of Anthony Joshua? It seemed an absolute eternity since Ruiz went hammer and tong at Joseph Parker and, since then, he had bubbled under the radar thanks to a dispute with Top Rank.
Yet Andy Ruiz had the perfect style to inflict Joshua’s first defeat; Eddie Hearn’s cash cow has always looked most vulnerable when he’s been met with fire, ironic given those flaming ‘AJ’s’ that get rolled out at every opportunity. Alexander Povetkin and, to an extent, Dillian Whyte laid down the blueprint for beating Joshua; hit him first and don’t back off. There was a feeling that Joshua was fighting with Deontay Wilder’s knockout of Dominic Breazeale lingering somewhere in the alleys of his mind – looking to outgun his fiercest rival. It was working, too, until he got that knockdown in the third round – a knockdown that many anticipated would result in the crumbling of Ruiz after a gutsy three rounds; that is, after all, how the script usually goes.
Quite the opposite, however, as Joshua began to look complacent and comfortable within himself whilst Ruiz rallied and set about swarming the champion with shot after shot with energy and aggression reminiscent of a puppy dog chasing after a laser beam. From the moment of that knockdown, Ruiz was first to the punch each and every time and he refused to let Joshua have the time to think about plotting any explosive finish. As Ruiz began to land with increasing accuracy and frequency, the urgency of Joshua flatlined. He was apathetic each time he was forced to take a knee – on all four occasions – fighting with indifference despite the fact his empirical reign was visibly shattering before him.
The fight was beaten out of him and his mind seemed to escape him at some point between the third and fourth round: from there it was only a matter of time before the body followed and, so it proved, that after four rounds of being broken down – piece by piece – the referee had seen enough with just over half the seventh round to go. That’s perhaps the most alarming thing of the defeat, this wasn’t a lucky shot or an explosive one-punch knockout but a comprehensive, sustained breakdown of Joshua’s fighting spirit. This was not brutal, bloodied or concussive but the dejected defeat of a man.
In many ways this could be worse, in the long run, than getting sparked suddenly.
All that being said, this does not make Anthony Joshua a bad fighter overnight. Nor does it mean he was ‘exposed’, let’s be clear on that. We’ve got to be cautious not to forget the merits on which Joshua became champion whilst also not shy away from the fact he was beaten hands down. Given his record of unifying titles, successfully defending belts on six occasions and becoming world champion in his 16th fight, it defies logic to see so many people looking now to derail the achievements of Joshua. He has got things to work on, big gaps in his armory, but he’s also achieved more than any other heavyweight during the last three years.
The bubble has been burst, though, and the blueprint that we knew existed has been successfully put into action. Ruiz is very unlikely to change his approach for any such rematch because he executes that swarming style of pressure so well and the onus is on Joshua to prove he is as good as we all thought and is capable of adapting and learning – even if he is a relatively ‘old dog’ at this stage in the professional game.
Should we be looking for excuses for Anthony Joshua, should be wanting answers as to why he looked so underwhelming or does that only serve to discredit the achievements of Ruiz? Naturally we’re all curious as to what could possibly have happened, if anything at all, but the never-ending spiel from social media ‘insiders’ as to the shading of his skin, depth of breathing, you name it, just reeks of desperation that you’d never see from Joshua. We can say what we want of him but there’s one thing that has always been abundantly clear, amid all the hype and hyperbole, and that’s that Joshua is a gentleman and would never seek to make excuses so we shouldn’t do on his behalf.
Ruiz was simply the better man and a Joshua win in the rematch is certainly far from clear-cut simply because of the adaptations he needs to make; either he needs to be first to the punch or needs to adjust to fighting on the back foot under that pressure from Ruiz. Flick back to the ‘Ali ages’ as opposed to the ‘Mayweather era’ where losses were commonplace and this could be the best thing that happens in Joshua’s career – a kick up the jacksie to remind him that this is heavyweight boxing and you don’t have it all your own way. That or it could begin the collapse of Joshua’s princely spell at the top of the heavyweight division.
Three Takeaways: What Andy Ruiz’s Win Means for Boxing
By Jonah Dylan
Andy Ruiz absolutely shocked the world on Saturday night. Sure, people had laid out “paths to victory” for Ruiz, but they’d done the exact same thing for Dominic Breazeale before Deontay Wilder brutally knocked him out in the first round two weeks ago. The moment can’t be understated – it was one of the biggest upsets in recent boxing history, and it won’t soon be forgotten.
Aside from the mammoth that was Joshua-Ruiz, we had a number of title fights on the undercard from Madison Square Garden. Here are my five takeaways from the weekend.
1. Like it or not, Joshua’s loss probably hurts boxing as a whole
There’s no question a matchup between Anthony Joshua and Wilder was the biggest fight in boxing coming into Saturday night. Even accepting that it wasn’t likely to happen until late 2020 at the earliest, Joshua-Wilder was the extremely rare event that would’ve crossed over from boxing fans to mainstream sports fans. Two undefeated champions in their prime, both with clear vulnerabilities, for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world. The fight sold itself (that is, if Eddie Hearn and Al Haymon were actually willing to sell it).
Joshua-Wilder could still happen, and it’s still a fight a lot of people would like to see. Wilder would now be expected to win, because he’s a bigger puncher than Ruiz (and everyone) and Joshua’s chin was exposed once again. Now, though, Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KOs) versus Tyson Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) is the fight people want to see, and if all goes according to plan we’ll get it in early 2020. It’s a great rematch, but it won’t have anything close to the demand of Joshua-Wilder before Saturday.
Even if the fight does get made eventually, it won’t attract as many casual sports fans as it would’ve if both guys were undefeated. To be honest, I’d rather see Terence Crawford-Errol Spence, another fight that seems unlikely to happen. The difference there is that neither guy seems particularly vulnerable, and it’s hard to see anyone beating Crawford or Spence except for the other guy. That fight can marinate and marinate.
Even if Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) beats Ruiz (33-1, 22 KOs) in their immediate rematch, he’ll have a harder time selling the fight, and Wilder now has more leverage in their negotiations. Less people will watch Wilder-Joshua than they would’ve before Saturday, and that’s bad for the sport as a whole.
And one more thing: we have no idea what sanctioning bodies will do, but remember what happened after Fury beat Wladimir Klitschko to win these three belts in November 2015? When Klitschko exercised his right to an immediate rematch, the IBF still ordered Fury to make a mandatory defense, and he had no choice but to vacate the belt. I would not be surprised if the IBF orders Ruiz to fight Kubrat Pulev (27-1, 14 KOs), knowing full well he has to fight Joshua next. This might crush the chance of seeing an undisputed heavyweight champion for a long, long time.
2. Andy Ruiz deserves way more credit than he’s getting
For all the talk about Joshua’s shortcomings, can we recognize the unified heavyweight champion of the world for a second? Ruiz is fun because he doesn’t look like an athlete, and a lot of people will never get over that. But he came in with an excellent gameplan and executed it to perfection. He used his impressive work rate to frustrate Joshua and moved enough to avoid getting tagged with Joshua’s looping punches.
He also exposed Joshua more than anyone else had. He wasn’t worried about Joshua’s jab, which could have been a major weapon against a much shorter opponent. He knew Joshua would go for the kill after the knockdown, and he didn’t let up when he had Joshua hurt (the mistake that cost Klitschko so dearly). I’d like to how he’d approach fights against Fury or Wilder, or even Dillian Whyte.
And let’s just restate it, because it is really pretty unbelievable. In a hostile environment where almost everyone was on Joshua’s side, Ruiz got up off the canvas in the third round and immediately staggered the undefeated heavyweight champion of the world. Then, he stayed calm and waited for his moment to get the finish and earned three world title belts, leaving jaws dropped across the world.
3. Callum Smith is the man at super middleweight, and it’s hard to even make an argument against him
I’m not saying Hassan N’dam is a top-level opponent, but the way in which Smith (26-0, 19 KOs) demolished him over three rounds in the Joshua-Ruiz co-feature was something to behold. Smith is absolutely massive at 168 and looks much, much bigger than everyone he gets in the ring with. He hadn’t fought since he sent George Groves into retirement in September, so let’s hope for more activity over the next year.
What Smith desperately wants and arguably needs is a fight against Canelo Alvarez, but it makes more sense for everybody if Alvarez first fights a trilogy with Gennady Golovkin. Promotional issues aside, I don’t think there’s anyone at 168 Smith wouldn’t knock out. The other champions are Billy Joe Saunders (28-0, 13 KOs), Andre Dirrell (26-3, 16 KOs) and Caleb Plant (18-0, 10 KOs). Smith-Saunders would be an interesting fight stylistically, but I think Smith would eventually catch Saunders with a big shot and put him away. It’s also very unlikely because Saunders is with Frank Warren and Smith is with Hearn.
There’s been some chatter that Dmitry Bivol (16-0, 11 KOs) wants to move down to 168, and he’d be a solid fight for Smith. David Benavidez (21-0, 18 KOs) will first want a crack at Dirrell and the WBC belt, but he could at least put up some resistance against Smith. Still, there’s nothing besides the Canelo fight that excites me for Smith.
So he’ll continue to be in a kind of dead zone unless he moves up to 175, but let’s hope Smith finds himself in an interesting fight sooner rather than later.
Hearn Looking to Book Ruiz Jr-Joshua Rematch for UK
By: Michael Kane
Eddie Hearn is looking to book the rematch between the new world champion Andy Ruiz Jr and the dethroned Anthony Joshua later this year in the UK.
Ruiz Jr shocked the world when he stopped Joshua in the seventh round, having knocked him to the canvas on four separate occasions. This wasn’t just a lucky shot that landed and knocked out a champion, this was a beating, in the end. Joshua spit his gum shield out then appeared to not walk towards the referee forcing the referee to call a halt to the proceeding’s.
Joshua appeared gracious in defeat and almost looked like a burden had been lifted from his shoulders. Ruiz Jr was on cloud nine. The much heralded American debut for Joshua has turned into a nightmare for him and Eddie Hearn.
According to Hearn, the contract included a rematch clause and Hearn is looking to bring the fight back to UK shores.
Joshua was due to fight in November so the rematch is what they intend to put on then, Hearn said in the press conference, “We didn’t know what was coming next, in November, December, now we do. But there’s a lot of pressure on that fight, the rematch is huge.
“For me, it should be in the UK, but we’ll sit down as a team and look at everything. I know it didn’t go our way but we said we wanted to create a night that people would remember for a long time. Unfortunately they’ll remember it for a shock defeat and an incredible night of boxing.
“But that’s ok, revenge will be sweet and I believe he’ll get it.”
The likely location is the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales due to the large capacity and retractable roof, which would close to keep out the winter weather. Wembley stadium has a partial retractable roof that would cover the seats but leave some of the pitch areas exposed to the elements.
There has also been reports that Anthony Joshua had to hold back his father from approaching Eddie Hearn after the shock loss, suggesting all is not well in the Joshua camp.
Tyson Fury’s father John Fury said that Joshua was not 100 per cent and that Hearn forced him to fight.
The facts are @anthonyfjoshua did not want2fight he wanted2pull out because he was not right @EddieHearn would not let him pull out that’s why there was a delay at the end of the end of the fight Joshua dad went for Eddie Anthony helded him bk watch footage
— John Fury (@John_Fury_) June 2, 2019
Social media was quick to pick up on the apparent bust up.
— Rob Fort (@RobFort4) June 2, 2019
AJ's furious dad confronted Eddie Hearn after shock loss to Ruiz Jrhttps://t.co/weTbgsYkkr
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) June 2, 2019
Was the Ruiz Jr victory good for heavyweight boxing, most definitely.
With the three biggest stars all appearing on different TV networks fans were growing tired of excuses from each team blaming each other as to why the big fights were not being made, Ruiz Jr has went in and upset the apple cart.
We could also see the governing bodies come into play as the IBF and WBO are rumoured to be calling their mandatories, which could see Ruiz Jr stripped should he refuse the mandatory to rematch Joshua. Opening up the possibilities of new champions.
Heavyweight Explosion and Exposure!? Ruiz Stuns Joshua
By: Kirk Jackson
A bomb detonated Saturday night and it was set off in historic fashion. Becoming the first heavyweight champion of Mexican descent and arguably striking the biggest upset since Mike Tyson-Buster Douglas, the 29-year-old Andy Ruiz Jr. (33-1, 22 KO’s) of southern California, powered by Snickers, pulled off one of the greatest upsets in heavyweight history this weekend.
The unglorified dark horse, knocked off 25-1 favorite Anthony Joshua (22-1, 21 KO’s), to win the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles in the British star’s United States debut at Madison Square Garden.
Joshua was knocked down twice – respectively in the third and seventh rounds. Although noticeably weary, Joshua rose to his feet a second time in the seventh round, but Joshua, without his mouthpiece and blood flowing from his nose, backed into his own corner, appearing disinterested in continuing the incoming onslaught.
And just like that, the champion’s reign ended. Ruiz elevates to the top of the boxing world with his amazing accomplishment. Much respect to the champion, well-earned victory.
Now that the short-lived sovereignty of Joshua is over, how will his story ultimately play out? Especially considering this wasn’t just a TKO stoppage, many observers believe Joshua quit.
At the very least, the former champion appeared visibly disinterested, as it seemed he was searching for a way out. Ask Roberto Duran and we’ll also find out in the case of Amir Khan, the stench of “Quit” is hard to rinse off.
Joshua was heralded by many across media; especially the British-media across the pond, as the best heavyweight across the board.
But due to a matter of circumstances, in which kept Joshua from unifying against the WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KO’s), or from facing the last Lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (27-0-1, (19 KO’s), must is still left to be desired from the career of Joshua.
He wasn’t a true champion. His whole career was consisted of lies, contradictions and gifts.
Facts and now we know who was running from who!!!!#TilThisDay
— Deontay Wilder (@BronzeBomber) June 2, 2019
“He wasn’t a true champion. His whole career was consisted of lies, contradictions and gifts. Facts and now we know who was running from who,” Wilder stated after Joshua’s shocking defeat.
An argument now especially can be made regarding Wilder’s remarks. Continuous back and forth manifested between the camps of Wilder and Joshua – which resulted in a game of wait and see (leaving fans from both sides disappointed).
Wilder supporters accusing Joshua of avoiding the destructive punching power of the Bomb Squad captain, while the Joshua supports poked fun at Wilder’s fighting style and resume.
In light of the recent highlight reel stylized knock-out of challenger to both Wilder and Joshua – Dominic Breazeale (20-2, (18 KO’s), along with Joshua’s recent folly, Wilder and his supporters appear to hold more weight in with their claims.
More from Wilder with 78 Sports TV below:
Now, much is left to question what transpires next for the fallen king. His promoter suggested a rematch-clause in the contract, with a scheduled rematch towards the end of the year and this time in the United Kingdom.
“Now we’ll see what AJ’s about. At least we know who his opponent is for the end of the year,” his promoter Eddie Hearn said in a post-fight interview.
Whether Joshua exercises his rematch, or bounces back remains to be witnessed. Prior to the fight, Joshua commented on retirement if he were to subject himself to tough fights.
In spite of the pre-fight conversation, he claims to still have a long time left in the sport.
“We are still young in the sport. Still a long way to go,” Joshua told iFL TV in a post-fight interview. “I have still got another nine years. Fighters can go on until they are 40 now. I am still only 29, so I have still got a long time.”
The story isn’t necessarily over for Joshua, as many champions past and present bounced back triumphant in casted their own redemption story. IBO, IBF and (Super) WBA Super welterweight champion Julian “J-Rock” Williams (27-1-1, 16 KO’s) and WBC Super welterweight champion Tony “Super Bad” Harrison (28-2, 21 KO’s) are prime examples.
Fellow Brit and heavyweight great Lennox Lewis is another example for Joshua to reference. Fury again is also another reference for Joshua.
We have our back and Forth’s but @anthonyfjoshua changed his stars through life. heavyweight boxing, these things happen, rest up, recover, regroup and come again 👊🏼
— TYSON FURY (@Tyson_Fury) June 2, 2019
Whether it’s the rematch with Ruiz, or an eventual showdown against Wilder or Fury – in which may very well go down as missed opportunities, Joshua will be associated with one of the biggest shockwaves in heavyweight boxing history.
How he’ll be remembered is yet to be determined.
Ruiz Shocks the World and Stops Joshua
By: Sean Crose
The boxing world was stunned Saturday night when the 33-1 Andy Ruiz…who had just fought in April…thoroughly beat up and stopped the world’s prominent heavyweight titlist, 22-0 Anthony Joshua. Making his American debut, Joshua was dropped numerous times and looked almost puzzled when the scheduled 12 round Madison Square Garden bout was wisely stopped by the referee.
WBA, IBF and WBO champ Joshua had been scheduled to meet Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller, but Miller tested positive for numerous banned substances and so a new opponent was needed. In stepped Ruiz, whose only loss had been a close decision defeat to Joseph Parker. Needless to say, no one gave Ruiz much of a chance. This was for all intents and purposes, supposed to be a filler match, a way to showcase Joshua for American fans.Things didn’t work out as expected.
The bout opened with Ruiz facing Joshua’s prominent jab. The much taller Joshua was able to keep his man at bay in the second. Then came the third. Joshua dropped Ruiz with a thunderous hook, making it appear as if it might be an easy night’s work for the Englishman. Ruiz got up, the two men began to brawl, and – amazingly – Joshua himself went down.
The defending champion got to his feet but was then sent down again for the second time in the round. Joshua got up again, but the man was clearly in trouble. The referee asked Joshua to come forward to see if Joshua was okay. Joshua seemed confused. The referee let Joshua off the hook, as the bell rang a moment later.
Things were slower in the fourth, but Joshua was clearly gunshy. The man seemed to hardly fire a shot. The champion looked better in the fifth and arguably took the round, having seemed to have regained his composure. Joshua appeared to be in control in the sixth, but Ruiz was able to find his target toward’s round end. Everything subsequently came to a head in the seventh.
Ruiz sent his man down for the third time in the fight. Joshua got up, but was clearly not looking good. The fight continued, only to see Joshua down yet again. The man clearly looked defeated. Still, the champion got to his feet once more. The referee checked to see if Joshua was okay. Joshua simply looked about – possibly at his corner – and the referee stopped the fight.
Andy Ruiz now holds more titles than anyone in the heavyweight division – something few would ever have expected. It’s hard to overstate the enormity of Saturday’s bout. It may well have been the biggest upset in boxing since James “Buster” Douglas knocked out Mike Tyson in 1990. What’s more, major bouts with Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder may well be out of Joshua’s future. Again it’s difficult to overstate the enormity of this upset.
Earlier in the evening, the popular Katie Taylor became the undisputed lightweight champion of the world by sqeaking past Delfine Persoon via close decision. Callum Smith also showed he’s a super middleweight titlist to be reckoned with by wiping out Hassan N’Dam in the third.
Andy Ruiz: Looking to Make History
By: Hans Themistode
One can argue, that throughout the history of boxing no demographic group has had more success than those of Mexican descent. Their heritage has produced great champions and all-time great fighters.
Julio Cesar Chavez, Juan Manuel Marquez, Salvador Sanchez and countless others have been a pillar in the boxing community. Currently, Canelo Alvarez is playing his part to continue their rich history as he has won titles in three different weight classes and is considered by most to be the best pound for pound fighter in the world.
As successful as the country of Mexico has been, they have always been missing one important piece. That would be the Heavyweight championship of the world. Never has there been a Mexican Heavyweight champion. To be frank, there hasn’t been a great Heavyweight Mexican fighter of note.
Just who holds the title of greatest Mexican Heavyweight of all time?
One could make the argument that Chris Arreola currently holds that prestigious claim. Arreola started his career winning his first 27 contest. Even more impressive, 26 of those 27 wins came via stoppage. It seemed as though Mexico was destined to have their first Heavyweight title holder. Championship losses to Vitali Klitschko, Bermane Stiverne (twice) and Deontay Wilder have effectively ended the title hopes of both Arreola and Mexico.
This Saturday night on June 1st, Andy Ruiz (32-1, 21 KOs) can change that notion. It won’t be an easy task by stretch of the imagination as Ruiz will be taking on undefeated unified champion Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs). The contest will be taking place at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
In 2016, Ruiz came up short in his bid to become a world champion when he lost a close split decision against Joseph Parker. It was the first pro loss of Ruiz career. He’s learned from the experience and he is determined to not allow it to happen again.
“From that Parker fight I learned that I need to work harder and have more discipline. I may have lost the first time I challenged for a world title but it wont happen again.” Said Ruiz during a recent press conference.
Heart, guts and glory is what defines the Mexican heritage. Champion after champion, weight class after weight class, they have succeeded. There is just one glaring hole in their resume. On June 1st, Andy Ruiz will have the opportunity to fill that hole, by bringing the country of Mexico its first ever Heavyweight world title.
Andy Ruiz Keys to Victory
By: Hans Themistode
Heavyweight contender Andy Ruiz Jr (32-1, 21 KOs) is taking on the biggest challenge of his career. On Saturday night June 1st, he’ll be challenging unified Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs). The contest is slated to take place at the famed Madison Square Garden Arena.
Since coming up short in his first bid for a world title back in 2016 against Joseph Parker, Ruiz has reeled off three straight victories. He will be a huge underdog going up against Joshua, but he shouldn’t be counted out.
What exactly can he do to become the first Mexican Heavyweight champion? Keep reading to find out.
Push The Pace
Anthony Joshua is shaped more like a body builder rather than a prize fighter. Although his physique is impressive, he has had stamina issues in the past. Ruiz should look to test the champion in that regard. Set an incredibly fast pace by moving forward and making Joshua work.
The danger in this strategy is that he could set himself up for big shots coming his way from the champion. If Ruiz can set a face pace and push the champion towards the later rounds, he could very well be on his way to a major upset.
Work On The Inside
Ruiz will be giving up a four inch height advantage to go along with a staggering eight inch reach advantage as well. Boxing on the outside may not be a good idea. Sure he has plenty of skills but facing so many disadvantages from a physical standpoint, could lead to his downfall.
Instead, Ruiz needs to bully his way inside. For as big and strong as Joshua is, he doesn’t have the most impressive inside game. If Ruiz can find a way to get inside and rough up the champion without taking too much punishment coming in, he should be able to do some great work on the inside.
Let Your Hands Go
Andy Ruiz knows exactly what he is getting himself into. He isn’t expected to win, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t. Joshua has shown to be a bit vulnerable when his opponents have landed big shots. Ruiz has more than respectable power. He also has fast hands as well.
Joshua is defensively responsible but he has been clipped on more than one occasion. It’s a tough ask of Ruiz to simply outbox Joshua. Ruiz should throw caution to the wind and simply go for it. Of course it’s much easier said than done, considering that Joshua is such a massive puncher but if Ruiz intends on shocking the world, he will need to take a few monumental risk along the way.
Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz, Callum Smith vs. Hassan N’Dam Fight Previews
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Promotions will bring their heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua, to the United States to make his US debut and defend his titles against challenger Andy Ruiz Jr.
Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller was originally scheduled to face Joshua, but a positive steroid test forced him to withdraw from the fight and allowed for Ruiz to step up and get this opportunity.
This fight card will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York City and will be streamed live on DAZN.
The co-main event of the evening will be a WBA Super Middleweight Title fight between Callum Smith and Hassan’ N’Dam.
The undercard is also stacked and features a women’s lightweight unification title bout between Katie Taylor and Delfine Persoon. Chris Algieri, Tommy Coyle, Josh Kelly, Joshua Buatsi, and Diego Pacheco are just some of the contenders that will also be competing on the undercard.
The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the night.
Callum Smith (25-0) vs. Hassan N’Dam (37-3); WBA Super Middleweight Title
Callum Smith is one of the best boxers out of the United Kingdom and Saturday will be the first time he fights in the United States.
Smith will have some noticeable physical advantages over N’Dam. He will have a large three and a half inch height advantage over N’Dam and he’s also six years younger than him. Both boxers have fought once in 2018 and twice in 2017.
Smith appears to be the more powerful puncher of the two. Smith has eighteen stoppages on his record in only twenty five fights while N’Dam has twenty one stoppages on his record in forty fights.
Smith has beaten the likes of George Groves, Nieky Holzken, Erik Skoglund, and Rocky Fielding. He has never been defeated as a professional.
N’Dam has lost to the likes of Peter Quillin, David Lemieux, and Ryoto Murata. He has beaten the likes of Martin Murray, Ryoto Murata, Curtis Stevens, Max Bursak, and Avtandil Khurtsidze.
Both boxers had successful amateur careers. Smith has success on the national level in Great Britain and N’Dam has competed in the 2004 and the 2016 Summer Olympics.
N’Dam has the ability to pull off an upset, as he did when he defeated Murray and Murata. But he’s coming up in weight to face a good puncher who’s significantly younger than him.
This fight is an excellent opportunity for Smith to impress the fans in the United States.
Anthony Joshua (22-0) vs. Andy Ruiz Jr.(32-1); IBF/WBA/WBO Heavyweight Title
Anthony Joshua holds three of the four widely recognized heavyweight titles. He’s considered to be one of the, if not the, best heavyweights in the world today.
However, Saturday will be the first time he’s fighting in the United States and it’s against an opponent very few believe has a chance at beating him.
Andy Ruiz is a good fighter, he only has one loss on his record and was a former Mexican National Champion as an amateur. However, Joshua is a boxer who has never been defeated and has stopped every single one of his opponents except one. And while Ruiz was a Mexican National Champion as an amateur Joshua won the Gold Medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Joshua will have a large four inch height advantage and a very large eight inch reach advantage. They are both twenty nine years old. Joshua fought twice in 2018 and twice in 2017. Ruiz fought once in 2019, twice in 2018, and did not fight in 2017.
Joshua has beaten the likes of Povetkin, Parker, Takam, Klitschko, Molina, Breazeale, Martin, and Whyte.
Ruiz has defeated the likes of Dimitrenko, Johnson, Austin, Liakhovich, Hamer, and Hanks. He has only been beaten by Joseph Parker.
it’s hard to imagine this fight going the full twelve rounds. Ruiz has boxing skills, but he’ll be significantly undersized against a man who’s skills are just as good.
This should be an easy victory for Joshua.
Joshua vs. Ruiz Undercard Fighters Press Conference Recap
By: Hans Themistode
This Saturday night on June 1st, Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) will look to defend his Heavyweight titles against Andy Ruiz Jr (32-1, 21 KOs) in Madison Square Garden. Although these two are receiving the lions share of the publicity, this won’t be the only great fight taking place that night as the undercard is filled with intriguing matchups.
WBA Super Middleweight champion Callum Smith (25-0, 18 KOs) returns to the ring after more than eight months off to take on Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (37-3, 21 KOs). For Smith, it will be his first time in the ring since winning the World Boxing Super Series. Smith is more than eager to prove his worth against N’Dam.
“N’Dam is a really good fighter. He’s only been beaten by the top fighters. I feel as though I am the best Super Middleweight in the world and that should be more than enough to beat N’Dam and in spectacular fashion.”
N’Dam is trying to build off of the upset he pulled off in his last contest when he defeated Martin Murray. This will be his first fight at Super Middleweight, but that doesn’t seem to bother him in anyway.
“Fighting at Super Middleweight won’t be a problem for me at all. Also I am very familiar with the fighting style of Callum because we have worked together on several occasions. I will be fully prepared come fight night to achieve my goals.”
Callum Smith and Hassan N’Dam wont be the only championship fight taking place on the undercard. WBA, WBO and IBF Lightweight world champion Katie Taylor (13-0, 6 KOs) will be looking to add the WBC Lightweight title to her collection when she takes on current champion Delfine Persoon (43-1, 18 KOs). To make this contest even more significant, the ring magazine title will be on thee line as well.
During Taylor’s short career she has been flat out dominant. Her contest against Persoon however, will be her toughest yet.
“Persoon is a great champion. She will by far be the toughest challegne of my career. I have had a really good training camp and I will be fully prepared. It wont be easy but I believe I will be able to get it done.”
The stakes are high for these undercard fighters. They have opportunity to be seen on the biggest stage of their careers. Expect them all to attempt to steal the show come Saturday night.
Andy Ruiz: “I’m In This To Win It”
By: Sean Crose
“It just gives me more motivation,” says heavyweight title challenger Andy Ruiz, “all the guys talking crap.” Ruiz, whose record currently stands at 32-1 is oozing confidence on the eve of his bout with divisional kingpin Anthony Joshua this Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York. “I don’t know if they are mad,” he says, “because I have got this opportunity, but I don’t have anything bad to say about anyone, I talk in the ring with my fists. I’m so mentally strong and prepared for this fight that I don’t care what people have to say.”
The 33 year old, who fought as recently as last April, is a replacement for Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller, who positive tested his way out of the Joshua fight when banned substances were found in his system. With that in mind, Ruiz knows he is the underdog walking into the ring this weekend. “A lot of people underestimate me,” he says. “Like I said, the way I look, my appearance, but as soon as they see me throw punches, I’m going to pull out the upset. This is what I have worked for my whole life, I’m here to take what Anthony has. I’m ready to shock the world.”
Ruiz, whose one loss was a 2016 majority decision defeat to Joseph Parker, has since gone on to win three in a row. Still, the heavyweight division is now dominated by the personalities of Joshua, Deontay Wilder, and Tyson Fury, who seem to draw in all of the public’s and the media’s attention. Ruiz is eager to make people take notice. “People will see what I can do,” Ruiz says. “It’s going to be an all action fight, with two big guys punching each other in the face, hard. I’m in this to win it. Everyone else that has fought him (Joshua) has lost before they get in there, I’m not thinking like that, and that’s the difference.”
In an era where most top fighters arguably don’t want to fight any more than once or twice a year, Ruiz feels that he’s going to be sharp walking in, having just fought several weeks ago. “The most important thing is to win and prove to the fans that I belong at this elite level,” he says. “I’m not going to chase the KO but I know that it’s there if I execute my combinations. I’m feeling good and ready, AJ hasn’t boxed for nine months and I’m sharper than ever and very motivated.”
Perhaps more than anything else, Ruiz feels that it’s his courage that can win him Joshua’s numerous heavyweight titles. “He’s big,” Ruiz says of the 22-0 WBA, WBO, and IBF heavyweight titlist, “but the advantages I have are in speed, movement and coming forward. Everyone AJ fights is scared. I’m not scared of anyone apart from the Man upstairs. There’s a lot of doubters out there but I don’t care, they only give me more motivation and confidence.”
Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz, Jr. Workout Quotes
Heavyweight king Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) of the United Kingdom and dangerous Mexican challenger Andy Ruiz, Jr. (32-1, 21 KOs) worked out in front of a packed crowd at Brookfield Place in New York’s Financial District just days before their heavyweight title tilt at Madison Square Garden. Joshua will defend his IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO World Heavyweight Championship titles against Ruiz on Saturday, June 1, at Madison Square Garden and exclusively on DAZN.
On the stacked undercard of Joshua’s U.S. debut, undefeated WBA Super Middleweight World Champion Callum Smith (25-0, 18 KOs) will make his first title defense against former Middleweight World Champion Hassan N’Dam (37-3, 21 KOs). Earlier in the evening, Katie Taylor (13-0, 6 KOs) will face Delfine Persoon (43-1, 18 KOs) to crown the undisputed World Female Lightweight Champion. Taylor owns the IBF, WBA and WBO titles, while Persoon holds the WBC strap.
Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/DAZN
Today’s full live stream is available now on DAZN’s YouTube and Facebook, and includes interviews with Joshua, Ruiz, Smith and Taylor. A full transcription of the interviews is available below.
All fight week events will be streamed on the DAZN platform and social media channels. For more information, fans can follow DAZN’s U.S. social channels: @DAZNUSA on Facebook, @DAZN_USA for Twitter, and DAZN_USA for Instagram.
EPISODE TWO OF 40 DAYS: JOSHUA/RUIZ AVAILABLE NOW!
On training in Miami: “I stayed out of the clubs. I went down to South Beach one day for some lunch which was nice but other than that, it was straight gym work. The way the team sets up my training is that I only have one day off in between, never two back-to-back days off. When you have two back-to-back days off, you have one day for turning up and one day for recovery. So all my recovery was based around that one day so I had no time to mess around.”
On Andy Ruiz, Jr. compared to Jarrell Miller: “I can’t really tell you because I never boxed Miller. Miller was a steady contest because of his punch rate and his physical size, you can’t deny that in the ring. But Ruiz, he’s more of a sound, well-balanced guy. He keeps his feet underneath him and has good head movement. You throw the right hand and he will just duck it, come under and hook you twice. He’s got that kind of confidence in his ability that he can counter-punch and he’s not afraid to have punches coming at his face and slipping them to get back to you. He’s not a scared fighter at all.”
On his United States welcoming: “I should be out there with the people! That’s what I am here to do, to meet people and all for the love of boxing. It is not just about me. It’s about the next show, about the GGG show, whatever is happening on DAZN. It’s just about connecting with the people so they can go back home and say, ‘You heard about DAZN and their boxing?’ And then the sport rises. This is bigger than me.”
On fighting at Madison Square Garden: “I am just rolling with the punches and not trying to get caught up in the hype of it all. The main time when you enjoy it is after the fight. God willing, I win. Then I will look and say, ‘Wow, I’ve really done it at Madison Square Garden.’ I just don’t want to take part, I want to own the night. And that’s why I need to win.”
On managing fighters on the undercard: “I’m fighting, managing fighters. Everything rolled into one. One aspect of the night into another aspect. My winning is their winning then it’s easier for them to do their job. I remember I was fighting on other people’s undercards as well and if I never said it, I want to thank those people for giving me the exposure to be in the position that I am in right now.”
On his entrance music: “I’ve been thinking about it. Thinking about the ‘Dipset Anthem.’ Possibly Meek Mill’s ‘Dreams and Nightmares.’ It has to be something from the east coast. Maybe Biggie. The song inspires but so does the crowd. They give that energy, too. I remember in the Olympics, I had been fighting only two-and-a-half years and then I’m in the Olympics so I am thinking, ‘What the hell am I doing here?’ I remember trying to block out the energy of the crowd. But it’s impossible, you use to much energy trying to do that. So I just absorb all that energy, take that frequency and bring it into the ring. You can’t block it out, you need to absorb.”
On Deontay Wilder’s first-round knockout: “Oh, that was a good one, that was a good one! I am going to be in there in the first round trying to knock out Ruiz but if it don’t happen, it don’t happen. But as long as I get the win, it puts me on that path. And like I have said before, I think Wilder and I need to sit down man to man and talk about how we get this fight made.”
On being the underdog: “Everyone has always doubted me. But look, I came so far, coming from a small town, a small city and now I am doing great things. I am fighting for the Heavyweight Championship of the world. I’m here to make history and to become the first Mexican Heavyweight Champion.”
On the pressure of fighting Anthony Joshua: “There’s a lot of pressure on me but I think Anthony Joshua has more to lose fighting a dangerous fighter like me. I am a better opponent than all of the other opponents they were talking about. I am here to win it all.”
On being distracted by a possible Canelo fight: “The fact is, with Canelo, is that if I slip up on Saturday night, that fight doesn’t happen. That’s gone. So that’s what keeps me motivated – that I have to come here this Saturday and win to keep those massive fights alive. I’m fully focused on June 1st. I’m in a very good place and I had a great training camp.”
On fighting at Madison Square Garden: “This is another amazing moment and that’s what I am in boxing for. I want big nights and big fights. Winning the WBSS tournament was a special night and defending that title at Madison Square Garden would be special as well. That is what is keeping me in boxing, that stuff excites me and motivates me.”
On fighting Hassan N’Dam: “He is a good opponent, a very experienced opponent and a former World Champion. Only the very best have beat him. But I believe that I am one of the very best and I should be good enough to beat him. This is no easy fight because he is a tough customer. I am expecting a tough fight and prepared for the best possible Hassan N’Dam. But if the best version of me turns up, I beat the any version of him.”
On being the standout on Saturday’s card: “Hopefully. I hope to steal some headlines and impress with a good knockout or impressive win. But it’s a very good show, some of Britain’s best on the bill. Katie Taylor is on the show and is a special talent fighting for the undisputed lightweight crown. Josh Kelly and Josh Buatsi are both great prospects. It’s a great show for the fight fans.”
On whether he will stay at 168: “I believe I can do both, I can stay here or move up. I believe I can stay at 168 and fight some good champions and hopefully wait for the Canelo fight. Then when I’ve fully satisfied, I can move up to 175. That’s definitely a possibility but there’s still a lot to achieve at 168. 175 is an interesting division because they are all pretty much as good as each other and there are no standouts. It’s a very good division and one that I could look to enter in a year or two. But 168 is my division right now.”
On fighting for the undisputed lightweight crown: “It is amazing to be here. I’ve had to pinch myself that I am fighting for the undisputed championship of the world in just a few days. I know how big of a challenge it is and how tough of an opponent she is. This is why I have trained so hard over these past few years. I have locked myself away over these last few months and went through the trenches to prepare.”
On taking the open workout seriously: “I figure that I should get something out of it if I am here. Just looking at the big crowd here, you can’t help but get excited about this big fight night. I am just hyped up right now.”
On feeling pressure: “There’s a little bit of pressure but pressure is a privilege. It’s just great to be in this position and I would rather be in this position than not. I am going to fight for the undisputed championship in front of so many Irish people but I have dealt with this kind of pressure before.”
On her rise to this spot: “My goal has always been to become the undisputed champion of the world. This isn’t going to be an easy fight, this is going to be the hardest fight of my career. This is a tough, tough challenge, but these are the types of fights that I love as well.”
Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Media Day Workouts Recap
By: Hans Themistode
The British have taken over America.
At least that is what it felt like as a jam packed crowd swarmed U.K. born Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) for his media workout. It was the first time the American public was given a chance to see the British star in several months.
Joshua, will of course be putting his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO titles on the line this Saturday June 1st, at Madison Square Garden when he takes on former title challenger Andy Ruiz Jr (32-1, 21 KOs).
This will be Joshua’s first contest in the U.S. as he typically fights in his home country at the O2 arena. Although this is Joshua’s formal introduction to the American public, it was hard to tell. There was a large contingent for Joshua from U.K. fans who made the long trek to show support for their Heavyweight champion. That support didn’t go unnoticed by Joshua.
“I think it’s great that so many from my side of the world came to support me. It’s massive support they’re showing me and it is highly appreciated.” Said Joshua during his post workout interview.
As for his opponent, Ruiz understands that he is the heavy underdog coming into this contest. He also understands that the opinions of those that are doubting him aren’t important to his success.
“I know that a lot of people think I’m going to lose this fight but I’ll prove them wrong. I will make history come Saturday night” said Ruiz.
The history Ruiz is speaking of is becoming the first Heavyweight champion of Mexican decent. Defeating the unblemished Joshua will be a monumental task. The unified Heavyweight champion isn’t simply looking to win come Saturday night but he is looking to make a statement.
“It’s important to make a statement on Saturday night. Of course I want to win, but I have to look spectacular while doing so.”
This particular media workout had a bit of intensity to it. The fans will be in for a real treat once the real fight comes Saturday night.
Joshua On Ruiz: “I Have Not Underestimated Him One Bit”
By: Sean Crose
“It’s not about what you look like,” says the IBF, WBA, and WBO heavyweight champion of the world, Anthony Joshua. “It’s a craft, a skill, and what’s in your heart and your head matters in the end.” These words may seem odd coming from the 22-0 knockout artist, for the term “Adonis-like” is often used to describe Joshua’s physique. The Englishman’s opponent June 1st at Madison Square Garden, however, is another story. Although the 32-1 Andy Ruiz is an exciting boxer with an impressive record, he simply doesn’t have the athletic looking body one expects in this (or perhaps any) heavyweight era.
Joshua refuses to write his opponent off. “Andy has shown he has all that, he can fight and box,” he says. “That’s what matters. I think Andy is a great challenger and will bring it on June 1.” Although few would shrug Ruiz off as a joke – he’s got some rather impressive wins against solid competition – Joshua was originally supposed to face off against Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller in his American debut (the June 1st bout will be Joshua’s first match of US soil). Brooklyn’s Miller tested positive for numerous performance enhancing drugs, however, and so the door became open for Ruiz, who has fought as recently as April 20th. Joshua wants the world to know he’s not facing a soft touch.
“Take me out of my body but keep the same attributes and height, same jab, same chin, same heart and same mind, but I looked different,” says the 6’6 Joshua, “I’d still get to the same position I am in because it’s what is within you that makes a champion, your genetics, and his genetics are the same – and he took the fight!” Although the defending champion has a bout to sell, his high opinion of Ruiz comes across as considered and genuine.
“He’s keen, he’s game and you cannot knock him,” Joshua says of Ruiz. “He can fight and he’s got hands. He gave a World Champion in Joseph Parker lots of problems, and when you look at the fight that Parker gave Whyte when people are saying Whyte can beat Wilder, Fury and me, Andy is championship level for sure, and I have not underestimated him one bit.” Ruiz may be a solid enough foe, but fans are salivating for Joshua to face off against such names as Wilder, and Fury. Wilder’s frightening knockout of Dominic Breazeale last Saturday only added to the pressure for a showdown between he and Joshua, who knocked out Breazeale himself in 2016.