Title fight in Saudi Arabia, a major disappointment for Andy Ruiz Jr. fans

December 7, 2019, the former WBA Super, IBF, WBO, and IBO World Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua reclaims his four World Title Belts after defeating an unprepared Andy Ruiz.

For over six months, boxing fans from both sides of the Atlantic had been anxiously awaiting the December 7, 2019 Showdown in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia between the 6’6″ tall, 82″ reach, former heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua from Watford, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom and the gentleman who upset his applecart back on June 1, 2019, in New York, the much shorter, 6’2″ tall, 74″ reach Andy “The Destroyer” Ruiz Jr. from nearby Imperial, Calif., USA.

On June 1, 2019, at the Meca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden, the hungrier and more determined Ruiz soundly defeated Joshua and amazed the millions of subscribers who were watching at home via their DAZN subscription and those able to watch via their rabbit ears on Azteca TV.

Six months down the road, the tables were turned and the four championship belts were returned to their rightful owner and left the Ruiz fans scratching their heads, lamenting “What a clunker the fight in Saudi Arabia turned out to be!” While watching this travesty at home in their warm and comfy leather recliners, the Ruiz fans were devastated to watch their hero be so ineffective against the hit and then move Brit.

Without the mobility and quickness, Ruiz enjoyed back on June 1, 2019, at Madison Square Garden in New York City, the 283.7 pound Andy “The Destroyer” Ruiz Jr. (left) became a sitting duck for the more mobile and consequentially more elusive Anthony Joshua who weighed in at a much slimmer 236 lbs., 10 pounds less than he did for their first fight.

By round two, Joshua had Ruiz bleeding from a cut above his left eye. From that point on, until the eighth round, Joshua fought intelligently, picking his spots with his lazer type jabs and refusal to engage Ruiz in close. If Joshua found himself in close, he’d immediately tie his opponent up. For example, after landing a dandy left hook in the second round, Joshua would once again dart in and out of range to reap the benefits of being at his lowest weight in over five years. By the 10th round, it was plausible that Ruiz had lost every round except for one, that round being the eighth round. From Ruiz dominating Joshua in June to becoming easy pickings in December, the Ruiz fanbase had to be extremely disappointed. By adding all that extra weight, he no longer had the fine-tuned body to corner his opponent or cut off the ring. As long as Joshua used his powerful jab to smack Ruiz in the face, then circle from right to left, or left to right, he remained untouched.

Imagine if you will, where Ruiz’s excessive poundage came from. If we were to ask a nutritionist, they’d likely suggest it came from the above food stables. Imagine again, if someone were to approach the Ruiz stable and ask them to do him a favor. “In this rematch, we’d like your boy Andy to wear this weighted belt we’ve designed. The belt has five pouches attached to hold the following: a five-pound bag of Gold Medal Flour, 5 lb. bag of C&H Pure Cane Sugar, a 5-pound bag of Snickers Candy Bars, a bag containing 5 lbs. of sliced pizza, and finally a bag containing 20 – 4-ounce sticks of sweet creamy butter. You can liken our request to the added weight a thoroughbred racehorse is asked to carry when his jockey is too light.”

At the prior days’ weigh-in, with Ruiz still wearing a black T-shirt to hide his girth, one can only imagine the thoughts of the surprised officials plus the foolhardy who had placed a large wager on Ruiz. Weighing in at 283.7 lbs. was thought to be insane, as well as unadulterated suicide. During Ruiz’s training camp, this so-called professional had put on an additional 25.3 lbs. How was this possible? The answer: By not training and by eating the worst food. Our local hero had basically eaten himself out of contention.

Checking in with the local Sports Books and more importantly, with the more conservative Brits and their #1 Sports Book, William Hill, we discovered the betting line had opened at -400 and within days started tightening up a good bit and was soon down to Joshua -229, while Ruiz had gone from +250 to just +186 which meant the public still considered Andy Ruiz Jr. a good investment. Then, as we got closer to fight night, it appeared the late money started to come in on the favorite, Mr. Joshua. Imagine that? Of course! The smart money knew to wait until after Friday’s weigh-ins to wager. When Joshua would look lean, focused and somber at 237 lbs. while Ruiz looked more shamefaced than confident, weighing a lot heavier than expected, e.g. the heaviest he’s been in over a decade at 283.7 lbs.

That being said, British boxing fans were still having nightmares in regards to how their champion performed in June when losing by TKO in round seven to Ruiz. It was one of the most shocking upsets on record and only surpassed by the “Iron” Mike Tyson loss to James “Buster” Douglas back on February 11, 1990, at The Tokyo Dome, Tokyo, Japan. In that one, a lethargic Mike Tyson landed just 101 punches to Douglas’ 230 punches and was KO’d at the 1.22 mark of round 10 of 12.

Like watching the Dow Jones averages: despite Joshua’s earlier loss to Ruiz, as soon as the lines opened for the rematch, Joshua became the betting favorite and remained so right up until the opening bell. One thing about the Saudi people, they’re very prudent with their investments.

The earliest sign that Ruiz was going down to defeat? In Round 2, after being hit by a straight jab on the forehead, blood started to trickle down from this noticeable cut over Ruiz’s left eye.

From that point on, there’s not much you can say about a boxer who is carrying around that additional weight. As a consequence, Ruiz’s heart had to be working overtime, harder than ever, to pump his blood, which meant higher blood pressure. You ask any doctor, the goal of a boxer in his preparation for a fight should be the lowering of those blood pressure numbers, especially when they are overweight or have type 2 diabetes.

Once again, putting this debacle in perspective, Ruiz, who had added the same weight as a 24 lb. butterball turkey with stuffing or the same weight as three one-gallon jugs of water was continually a few steps behind his opponent who appeared to be unstoppable as he went around and around the perimeter of the ring.

To sum things up: Joshua, the new four-belt champion, who has now followed in the footsteps of boxing luminaries Muhammad Ali, Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson in reclaiming his world heavyweight title now has 30 days to decide who his next opponent will be.

Almost immediately following this fight, Anthony Joshua was ordered by the WBO to fight their mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk within the next 180 days, while the Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev became the IBF mandatory challenger after defeating Hughie Fury in 2018. Joshua will also have his sights set on another huge, huge payday when he’ll be approached to fight the winner of that Deontay Wilder versus Tyson Fury rematch.

Once again, to make our point concerning the dangers of weight gain: In this photo, you can see what five pounds of fat looks like in someone’s body (left) and to help you conceptualize the weight of that glob, we’re also showing you a brick that weighs the same 5 lbs. (right).

At this point, our goal is to draw the ire of Andy Ruiz Jr., our fallen hero. We know he has it in him to make a comeback. The current eating disorder, lack of exercise and training was surely a fluke that can be overcome.

Several mates suggested an even harsher course for action: “If Andy has become a lost cause, losing his amazing quickness, he should forget boxing and become a Snickers Candy Bar salesman, an expert in all things sweet:

1. The former Homerun King’s newborn? (Baby Ruth)
2. One of Charlie Brown’s playmates? (Peppermint Patty)
3. Someone who’s always dropping things? (a Butterfinger)
4. What you say when you can’t remember something? (Whatchamacallit)
5. One million dollars (100 Grand)
6. What do you ask for when you haven’t had enough? (S’mores)
7. On this day, women like to go on a shopping spree? (Payday)
8. Snap and Pop’s best friend? (Krackel)
9. Before being invited to join this group, D’Artagnan had to accept three challenges to duel (3 Musketeers) 10. Breastfeeding (Milky Way)
11. Suppressed laughter/also Andy Ruiz Jr.’s favorite candy bar? (Snickers) 12. The Hershey Chocolate Factory in Hershey, Penna., has a replica of this yummy treat atop each of their street lights in downtown. (Hershey Kisses)

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