British Nigerian boxer, Anthony Joshua today, June 2nd, lost his first ever profession match to Andy Ruiz Jr. in his US debut with a seventh-round TKO on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
Ruiz, with a 33 – 1 record, was a replacement opponent who was called in on five weeks’ notice came off the floor in the third round to drop Joshua twice before the end of the frame, The Guardian reports.
Speaking of the victory, Ruiz said: “I just feel so good, man. This is what I have been dreaming about. This is what I have been working hard for. I can’t believe I just made my dreams come true.”
Ruiz now has Joshua’s WBA, WBO and IBF belts.
AJ said after the match: “It just wasn’t my night. I just have to turn it around a few notches and bring it back my way. I don’t want people to drown in their sorrows. This will show I have the power and the strength.”
He added that the stoppage of the match in the seventh round was premature: “I want to fight…. I don’t do [the referee’s] job. I am never one of those fighters to disrespect a referee like he should have done this or he should have done that. He called it off when he thought I couldn’t fight. It’s a shame. But I don’t want anyone to drown in their sorrows. It’s the long game, not the short game.”
Joshua has also congratulated Ruiz on social media. “This is Andy’s night, congratulations Champ,” he wrote, sharing a photo of the both of them in the ring.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has said his fighter would exercise an immediate rematch clause. He said:
AJ got sloppy. It was a beautiful combination in the third round. He was in total control of the fight but he got sloppy and never recovered. Listen, tonight was his night but AJ will come back 100% and we will make the rematch in the UK in November or December. But this night now belongs to Andy Ruiz.
AJ has the heart of a lion and will come back stronger. Now at least we know the opponent for the end of the year in the UK. Absolutely we will enact the immediate rematch. He will be devastated when it sinks in. It makes the fall fight a must win.A