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ANDOH: Going forward, the THREE questions from Anthony Joshua's defeat to Andy Ruiz

ANDOH: Going forward, the THREE questions from Anthony Joshua's defeat to Andy Ruiz
Source: Ghana/Joy Sports/Hans Mensah Andoh
Date: 02-06-2019 Time: 03:06:07:pm

Anthony Joshua's challenge on Sunday morning against Andy Ruiz Jr. wasn't merely to beat his Mexican opponent; he needed to impress while doing it.

He failed to beat Ruiz and was unimpressive en route to his 7th round TKO defeat.

Here are three questions from what is definitely an upset of the year contender, and one of the biggest in the sport’s history. 

Should we be surprised?

No.

This fight throws up memories of Hassim Rahman v Lennox Lewis in 2001 and Buster Douglas v Mike Tyson in 1990.

The sheer power heavyweight boxers possess means that an underdog's puncher's chance is enhanced. A defeat for Joshua defeat has been lurking. The Briton was unlikely to retire with an ‘0’ in his record.

We just didn't expect Ruiz to be the man to put him down. Retiring undefeated as a heavyweight boxer is a daunting task. Only one man has managed it, as Rocky Marciano went undefeated in 49 fights from 1947 to 1955.

It's an impossible task especially in the modern game. It's a shock defeat but we shouldn't be surprised. The heavyweight ranks are minefields of shockers. 

Can Joshua recapture the WBA, WBO and IBF titles?

Yes.

Something wasn't right about him. He looked sluggish and unsteady but it's important to give credit where it's due.

Going down four times points to questions over aspects of his fitness. Ruiz was a late replacement for Jarrell Miller, who failed multiple drugs tests. He was a massive underdog (and may even go into a rematch carrying that tag) who had nothing lose in defeat. Also worth noting that Ruiz fought only in April, and hence was in top physical form.

Camp Joshua may have underestimated their Mexican opponent and have paid a heavy price. Ruiz was good but my gut feeling says 8 out of 10 times, a replay of this bout will see Joshua win. Talk of a rematch began immediately after this fight with camp Joshua making clear their intentions of triggering the rematch clause.

Joshua's promoter, Eddie Hearn, has hinted it will happen in November or December in the UK. Some say it will be in Los Angeles or Las Vegas. A rematch will be a different affair because Joshua knows his career would be over if he loses. The stakes would be way too high for the Brit. I just don't see him losing that rematch. 


“The better man won tonight – let’s see about the rematch,” said Joshua. There will be problems with the sanctioning bodies and their mandatory challengers – there just might be a nasty feeding frenzy and when it is over, a new Joshua will fight.

Where does this leave us in the Joshua v Wilder showdown?

Joshua v Wilder is the ultimate heavyweight clash, although quite a lot changes after what appears to be a setback for Joshua. 

First, though, Joshua MUST recapture those titles before we even begin to talk about it. Without a world title, that fight is unlikely to happen. If he beats Ruiz in a rematch the Wilder fight should happen sooner, than later, because his status as the A side has been watered down somewhat, with this defeat.

The aura of invincibility around Joshua has been broken. The blueprint to beating him is effectively out there. Wilder will surely be smiling and he won't be the only one. Dyllian White and Tyson Fury will have a lot to say in the coming weeks.

Consider the Wilder fight a closed door. The key to unlocking it is an Anthony Joshua impressive victory in a rematch.

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