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Thursday, June 20, 2019

Boxing

DAZN reportedly pushing for Andy Ruiz-Anthony Joshua rematch in New York

Anthony Joshua

DAZN is pushing for the Andy Ruiz Jr.-Anthony Joshua rematch to take place in New York just like the first fight, according to a report.

DAZN, a standalone subscription channel specializing in combat sports, aired Saturday’s fight between Ruiz and Joshua that saw a major upset as Joshua lost via 7th-round TKO in a stunner at Madison Square Garden. The fight marked Joshua’s first in the US as the British fighter’s previous 22 fights all took place in the UK.

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn said after the fight that he expected a rematch to take place in November or December probably in the UK, but DAZN officials met with Joshua this week to discuss doing the rematch in New York, according to boxing reporter Chris Mannix.

Joshua has built up a large following in the UK, but his debut in the US saw him get knocked down four times. Successfully breaking through in the United States is vital to being universally respected in the boxing world. Returning to the UK where he has the fan support and it’s more comfortable would signal to fans that he had to retreat and couldn’t handle the big stage. DAZN knows that and wants him to prove to US fans he’s not scared and that he is capable of a win. It’s better for the sport overall for him to win in New York rather than return to his bubble in the UK.

From Ricky Hatton to Prince Naseem Hamed, boxing is full of fighters who got hyped up in the UK and failed to deliver in the US. DAZN doesn’t want Joshua to fall in the same group. Joshua and Hearn shouldn’t want that either.

Stephen A. Smith backpedals after being called out by Andy Ruiz Jr.

Stephen A. Smith had to backpedal after being called out by Andy Ruiz Jr. for his disrespect.

Ruiz Jr. defeated Anthony Joshua on Saturday night at MSG in a stunning result, knocking the heavyweight champ down four times and securing a 7th-round TKO win.

After the fight, Smith tweeted that he was “disgusted” over the superfight fans craved between Joshua and Deontay Wilder now being ruined. In the process, he referred to Ruiz as “Butter Bean” and called him “some dude.” He was so unimpressed by Ruiz, he called the outcome “a damn disgrace.”

Ruiz Jr. tweeted back at Smith, encouraging him to study up on the sport so Smith would be more knowledgeable and realize Ruiz Jr. was more than just “some dude.”

Smith then responded by saying he wasn’t insulting Ruiz’s career and turned things around by saying he thought Ruiz was “pretty damn good.”

Hmm, Smith seems to be glossing over that he called Ruiz “Butter Bean” and “some dude.” That showed a lack of respect for Ruiz. Smith then went on to try and spin the argument to focus on how he was talking about being upset the Wilder-Joshua fight fans wanted had been ruined. While that is no doubt the case, Smith refuses to admit he insulted Ruiz from the start. He was completely wrong about Ruiz and won’t admit it or apologize for it. All he can do is retreat and try to spin the conversation as he backpedals. It’s a bad look, one that can easily be remedied by saying he was wrong.

Tyson Fury blasts ‘disgrace’ Anthony Joshua over loss to Ruiz

Tyson Fury sings

Tyson Fury ripped Anthony Joshua over his loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. on Saturday night.

Joshua was a heavy favorite entering his fight with Ruiz, who was a replacement fighter that only signed on for the fight around a month in advance. Joshua, who was regarded as the best heavyweight in the world, was knocked down four times by his largely unknown opponent, who won via 7th-round TKO.

Fury is one of the other top heavyweights in the world and appeared on “The Sedano Show” on ESPN Radio Los Angeles Tuesday. He called Joshua a “disgrace” for his loss to Ruiz.

Fury, 30, is part of a suddenly exciting heavyweight division in boxing. His biggest career accomplishment came in 2015 when he beat Wladimir Klitschko. Then last year he fought Deontay Wilder to a draw with a stunning comeback. Though he signed with Top Rank, he and Wilder are expecting to meet in a rematch after each of their next fights. Ruiz Jr. and Joshua are likely to have a rematch at the end of the year too. If Joshua could ever fight Wilder and/or Fury, the division would generate much more appeal and buzz. Fury seems to be welcoming that by calling Joshua a “disgrace.”

Snickers sending new heavyweight champ Andy Ruiz Jr care package

Andy Ruiz Snickers

Andy Ruiz Jr. has given Snickers plenty of love over the past few months, and now the candy bar maker is returning the favor.

Ruiz Jr. on Saturday knocked out Anthony Joshua in a major upset to become the first heavyweight champion of Mexican descent ever. He has endeared himself to fans everywhere with his likable personality and unfit body.

Ruiz has also become known due to his love of Snickers. Unlike other top athletes who are on strict diets and cut out the sweets, Ruiz has been open about his love of Snickers. He has a Snickers bar as the header for his Twitter profile. He even appeared on “Inside PBC Boxing” in late April with a whole bunch of Snickers.

That led to more questions about the Snickers. Ruiz said his dad got him into the candy bar.

“My dad’s been giving me Snickers since I was six years old,” Ruiz told The Sportsman in an interview. “When I first turned amateur when I was seven years old, my dad started giving it to me. Best believe I’m going to be eating it before my fight with (Anthony Joshua).”

After all the publicity Ruiz gave Snickers, they congratulated him on his win over Joshua.

Snickers also said they were sending Ruiz a package.

Nobody has hustled harder for an endorsement deal than Ruiz. Snickers need to turn this into something bigger than that.

Look: Andy Ruiz Jr wears Knicks jersey to press conference after huge upset win

Andy Ruiz

Andy Ruiz Jr may have won himself a few more fans beyond just Saturday’s shocking upset over Anthony Joshua.

After stunning the previously undefeated Joshua by seventh-round TKO to win the heavyweight title in dramatic fashion, Ruiz showed up to his post-fight press conference wearing a New York Knicks jersey. Rob Perez of The Action Network shared video.

Saturday’s bout took place at Madison Square Garden. Coincidentally, Knicks free agent target Kyrie Irving was also in attendance for the fight.

For what it’s worth, the Boston Celtics are reportedly skeptical about their chances of keeping Irving. If the Knicks want to get their sales pitch started early, it certainly can’t hurt to have the new heavyweight champion of the world in their corner.

Should referee Mike Griffin have stopped Joshua-Ruiz fight?

Mike Griffin Anthony Joshua

Should referee Mike Griffin have stopped the Anthony Joshua-Andy Ruiz Jr. fight on Saturday night? That’s a question many are debating.

Ruiz Jr. was declared a 7th-round TKO winner over Joshua, handing the former heavyweight champion his first career defeat. The action really got started during a thrilling third round.

Joshua dropped Ruiz with a knockdown, and the Mexican-American responded by flooring Joshua twice later in the round. Then in the seventh, Ruiz scored two more knockdowns. Joshua beat the count on the first knockdown. He beat the count after the next knockdown as well, but that’s where things got tricky.

Joshua looked towards his corner after the second knockdown, indicating he may have been looking at them for advice about whether he should have continued. Griffin then asked Joshua if he wanted to continue. Joshua said yes. Despite Joshua saying he wanted to continue, Griffin stopped the fight, making Ruiz a TKO winner.

That explains Joshua’s confused reaction to the fight being called off by Griffin:

So why did Griffin stop the fight even after Joshua said he wanted to continue? Probably because his body language told a different story. Joshua had looked to his corner. He did not step forward towards Griffin, which is something fighters usually do to indicate they want to continue.

Joshua had been knocked down four times by Ruiz and was thoroughly beaten in the fight. Nobody can argue with the result, even if Joshua was hoping for it to continue.

Joshua is now 22-1 following the defeat, while Ruiz improves to 33-1.

Deontay Wilder rips Anthony Joshua after first career loss

Deontay Wilder

Deontay Wilder was feeling some schadenfreude after watching Anthony Joshua get upset by Andy Ruiz Jr. on Saturday night.

Wilder, who is the WBC heavyweight champion, ripped Joshua on Twitter for losing to Ruiz. Wilder said Joshua “wasn’t a true champion” and questioned Joshua’s career.

Joshua, previously 22-0, was often viewed as the best heavyweight in the world prior to his loss to Ruiz. Wilder, a knockout specialist who is undefeated, was the fighter fans wanted to see face Joshua. The two went back-and-forth but never made the fight happen. Now that Joshua has lost, a fight between them is no longer as attractive as it once would have been.

Wilder is set to face Luis Ortiz and then have a rematch with Tyson Fury after that. Meanwhile, Joshua’s next fight is likely to be a rematch with Ruiz. Wilder and Joshua may fight one day, but it won’t carry the same intrigue now that Joshua has lost.