On 1 June, 2019, the ‘Mexican Rocky’ shocked the world.
It was here, in Madison Square Garden where legends have been born, that Andy Ruiz Jr beat Anthony Joshua to become heavyweight champion of the world.
In doing so, he became the first fighter of Mexican descent to rule in the land of the giants and it all started in round three in New York.
Ahead of their rematch on 7 December, Broadcasters DAZN recently released a Sylvester Stallone-produced film called ‘One Night’ in which Rocky himself and a host of other big names look back on the fight. Here, talkSPORT looks at the win through former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson’s words, who was mesmerising in his recollection of the upset.
The third round
The two showed their tremendous power, resulting in Ruiz getting sent to the floor first by a heavy left had from Joshua. Fight fans held their breath as the challenger looked up from the canvas.
“He got hit with a big one. I didn’t think he would get up,” Tyson said.
Nevertheless, he picked himself up and then it was the champion’s turn to be rocked as Joshua was hit with a hard left to his temple – the perfect answer – before he was then floored.
“That’s your equilibrium,” Tyson explained pointing to his head.
“He’s okay, but the body is f***ed up. [Joshua] never got hit like that before. [He realised] This mother f***er came to fight.
“He’s has never been in that situation before, he’s never been hurt and it’s kind of scary.
“You kind of panic a little bit.”
Joshua is hurt
“Perspectives changed. We have a fight now and this might be a long night,” he said mimicking the constant jabbing of Ruiz.
“[Joshua’s] conscious, everything’s cool, but his body is not responding. He can’t control, it’s all f***ed and he don’t know why.
“[From Ruiz’s perspective] Once you get him hurt, you throw everything at him, a whole f***ing load.”
Joshua goes down again
A second knockdown appeared to rattle him, but referee Michael Griffin didn’t stop the fight despite trying and failing to get Joshua to walk towards him.
“He’s trying to save him. He’s trying to give him time,” Tyson added.
End of the round
“[Joshua] knows he’s in a lot of trouble. A fighter who is confident in his punches knows that if he hurts a guy and that guy goes back to his corner, he’ll be thinking ‘I hurt him once, I can hurt him again.’”
Fake smiles in round four
Joshua is still hurt and is trying to regain composure and takes a deep breath in front of Ruiz and grins.
“He’s trying to regroup, but you don’t let [your opponent] see you do it. It’s an inexperienced move because fighting is an art of not letting your opponent know anything.
“When you’re hurt, you get ready to attack. When you get knocked down, you go ‘mother f***er, I’m going to f***ing kill you’ – you have to do something, you don’t just go down and get back up.”
End of the round
“[In your corner] You’re trying to figure out your situation, trying to calm down and stop this spinning.”
Ruiz knocks Joshua down for a third time.
“He’s just throwing a barrage of punches. He’s not thinking, he’s just going [for it].”
Joshua gets back up, as Griffin counts – more fake smiles.
“He’s a little embarrassed and maybe thinking ‘I don’t have any chance of winning. Every time this guy touches me, I go down’.
“He looks pretty defeated. He’s not looking at the opponent, he’s looking at the referee.”
The fight restarts, but it appears Ruiz can smell blood and Joshua is down for a second time in the round and fourth in the fight.
He spits his gum shield out as he takes a knee and walks to the corner.
“He indicates that he’s a defeated man right now,” Tyson believes.
Griffin picks up his gum shield and looks into his eyes, as Joshua rests on the ropes. He’s seen enough, though, and stops the fight.
Andy Ruiz Jr is the new heavyweight champion of the world
“That’s what overcoming adversity and resilience is all about – the ability to never give up.
“It’s the best thing that ever happened to boxing having a heavyweight champion.
“It takes one punch. These guys are big and it’s almost debilitating, like being outside of your body and looking at him beat on you. There’s nothing you can do.”
Joshua appeared gracious in defeat
“He’s humbled now. It either will make him become a better individual, a better fighter or it might just destroy him.”