When Andy Ruiz Jr. was ushered in as Jarrell Miller’s replacement, he was thought to be nothing more than a stand-in at best. It was as if Anthony Joshua was assured a victory because there was no way in hell his opponent’s doughy physique could stand up to his conditioning. Surely, Ruiz’ 32-1 record was indicative of a fighter who’d been sheltered on the domestic front.

It’s no secret. Joshua’s mental preparation was devised against Jarrell Miller, a fighter that looked to be a perfect stylistic fit for the mobile Brit. Upon learning of Miller’s failed test, Joshua’s promoters quickly went about finding a replacement. Unfortunately, Andy Ruiz Jr.’s looks can be deceiving. What Joshua’s team didn’t account for, beyond Ruiz’ doughy physique, or his padded domestic record: unlike Jarrell Miller, Ruiz’ elite footwork never strays from the center of the ring.

Deontay Wilder Reacts To Anthony Joshua's Loss: "He Wasn’t A True Champion"
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As history would have it, Andy Ruiz dropped Joshua on several occasions on his way to a 7th round stoppage, all but shifting the balance of power in the Heavyweight division. Joshua’s completely alters the multi-fight agenda put in place for the IBF, WBA, and WBO belts. Fellow British contender Tyson Fury offered Joshua mercy in a reactionary Tweet.


Deontay Wilder wasn’t so kind. “He wasn’t a true champion,” he opined. “His whole career was consisted of lies, contradictions and gifts.” Notice how Wilder uses the past tense to decry Joshua’s so-called fraudulent career. In some ways, it’s hard not to view Andy Ruiz’ win as a boon result for boxing’s Heavyweight division – in that it opens the field up to parity.