(A look-back to 2019’s History Makers)
BOXER: 🇲🇽Andy Ruiz Jr.🇺🇸
FEAT ACCOMPLISHED: Becoming the first Mexican-blooded Heavyweight Champion.
THE PATH TO THE GOAL:📈 🇺🇸Andy Ruiz Jr. had kept his eyes on the news, eventually receiving the call that he would be the late replacement opponent after Anthony Joshua’s original opponent was ruled out due to positive drug-testing. This was the chance of a lifetime for the man who in his younger years was looked at as the fat, delusional kid whose lofty aspirations of becoming a Heavyweight Champion one day was deemed laughable. What they didn’t count on was that fat kid has fast hands and quick reflexes, and an uncanny supply of stamina that didn’t appear to match the aesthetics of his stature. Ruiz stuck to his guns and put together a very impressive amateur record of 105 -5. He turned pro at the age of 19 in 2009, and started his journey towards putting himself in better position to elevate to another plateau, operating with a one track mind on the motivator that fueled him.
For the next 6 years, he put on strong performances out-boxing all of his opponents, and earning the nickname “The Destroyer” the way he would chop his opponents down after he out-skilled them. He eventually worked his way up to his major opportunity that could make his dream a reality when he would fight for the vacant WBO Heavyweight Title against New Zealand’s Joseph Parker. The fight was a good one, and Ruiz performed well enough to where a strong contingent of fans felt he was in line to win the fight on the cards, as did Ruiz after the fight. To his shock and disappointment, the decision was given to Parker, and Ruiz dream blew up in smoke. The beauty about life is that nothing’s permanent, so Ruiz went back to work, earning positive rankings in the sanctioning bodies and patiently waiting for something to upon up for him to go after. He would get a fight against Alexander Dimitrenko back on April 20th, and dismantled him while receiving minimal damage. Not known at the time, looking back at it, these were a perfect set of circumstances since Ruiz won the fight unscathed, and Dimitrenko was a large opponent that Ruiz chopped down, so he was already prepared for someone of Anthony Joshua’s physical stature. After the opening for the Joshua fight arose, Ruiz sent a message to Eddie Hearn showing his confidence in saying he believes he could beat his Champion, and no matter what happened, that he would give his all to put on a good show, and Eddie Hearn believed him, so the offer was sent out, and Ruiz signed up with no hesitation.
What followed leading up to the fight was a mass amount of people showing their dismay for Ruiz getting the fight, treating him as a joke, making nonstop fat references and innuendos, some even calling him the most dreaded word in boxing “bum” without even giving him a chance, checking his fights out to see what he was capable of doing, or challenging their own set rationales to get a scope around what Ruiz was about. Many of those people also failed to listen to some boxing insiders who indicated that this fight may actually prove to me a serious match, despite the ridiculous 20 to 1 odds. Ruiz had his fight with Joshua 6 weeks after his last fight, but he was in shape and ready to go. Early on it seemed that Ruiz was a little over-matched, then he was knocked down in round 2. While he hit the canvas, there was no look of panic in his face, and had an eerie calm when he got up, staring at Joshua. Joshua sensed wounded pray and went in for the big finish, but he was clipped with a combination that wobbled and put him down. All of a sudden, the tables turned, and there was a massive shift in momentum that never shifted back. Ruiz was explosive, and put the British World Champion down 4 times, and after the 4th one, the Referee deemed him unfit to continue, and after that performance, Ruiz found himself jumping up in the air, being met with jubilation from his corner who was almost seemingly more happy than he was with the upset that he just pulled off…mission complete.