One year ago, on June 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, heavyweight contender Andy Ruiz pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the history of his weight class.
Coming in as a late replacement for Jarrell Miller, the Mexican boxer dropped Joshua four times to secure a seven round TKO win to capture the WBO, IBF, IBO, WBA heavyweight titles.
“I had a chance in the past (against Joseph Parker) and I wasn't going to let this go too. Everything I had to do in order to win that fight - I did it. In my mind I knew I was ready for that challenge. Since even before I had the opportunity, I said that Joshua's style was something that was going to mesh well with my style to become a champion,” said Ruiz to Erika Montoya.
Ruiz started well, but then got dropped hard in the third round. When Joshua came in for the kill, that's when Ruiz rocked him with a hard counter and scored two knockdowns of his own.
"I know what I did wrong at the time. In the third round I slowed down. It was just a shot, it was like a blink of an eye and I was already on the mat, but I got up and I still had the desire and that fire,” recalled Ruiz, who left New York that night with a record of 33 wins, 22 knockouts, and a single defeat.
After two more knockdowns in the seventh, the fight was waved off.
“It will be the happiest day of my life," Ruiz said.
With the immediate rematch signed, Ruiz remained a champion for six months, before losing the titles right back to Joshua in December.
Out of shape and undertrained, Ruiz was outboxed over twelve rounds - with Joshua easily winning a unanimous decision.
Ruiz has parted ways with trainer Manny Robles and hired Mexico's Eddy Reynoso to guide the corner.