Anthony Joshua is the latest victim of the Drake Curse.
The heavyweight boxer lost on Saturday to Andy Ruiz Jr. in a stunning upset at Madison Square Garden in New York. The match, which marked his first ever fight in the U.S., was also Joshua’s first career loss.
Joshua was originally set to fight Jarrell Miller, but Miller was replaced by Ruiz a month before the June 1 fight date after testing positive for PEDs.
Back when he was set to fight Miller, Joshua was trying to market the fight and even posted a photo on social media of himself with Drake. He said in his caption that he was going to “break the curse,” which is a reference to the rapper’s reputation for joining the bandwagon of teams that go on to lose.
— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyfjoshua) March 21, 2019
The Drake Curse is so real that he made reference to it with a funny outfit prior to the NFL’s conference championship games in January.
Our best advice to star athletes: avoid social appearances with Drake until after your career is over.
Joshua’s loss to Ruiz is already being viewed as one of the biggest upsets in heavyweight boxing history.
Andy Ruiz completely reshuffled the heavyweight division in boxing with a stunning upset win over Anthony Joshua at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.
Joshua was 22-0 and viewed by many as the best heavyweight in the world, not to mention one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in all of boxing. He was originally set to face Jarrel Miller in the fight, which marked his first ever in the US. Miller tested positive for PEDs and was replaced by Ruiz a month before the fight.
Ruiz was fighting on short notice, but you wouldn’t have realized it watching the fight.
After being dropped in the third round, Ruiz knocked Joshua down twice in the round. Then in the seventh, Ruiz knocked Joshua down twice. The referee stopped the fight after the second knock down, giving Ruiz a TKO victory.
In his postfight interview on DAZN, Ruiz reflected on the accomplishment of becoming the first heavyweight champion of Mexican descent.
“It means everything. This is what I’ve been dreaming about since I was six years old,” Ruiz said.
He also credited his Mexican style for rebounding after being knocked down.
“Because of the Mexican warrior that I am. I got that Mexican blood in me. Talking about the Mexican style, I just proved it,” he said.
— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) June 2, 2019
Immediately after the fight, promoter Eddie Hearn said the two would meet in November or December for a rematch in the United Kingdom, which is where Joshua had fought all his fights prior to Saturday.
Ruiz, who was 32-1 entering the fight, was about a 20:1 underdog.
Deontay Wilder can put on a show against Dominic Breazeale and others, but the real fight all fans want to see is a bout between him and Anthony Joshua. Wilder says that will happen but just wants patience from the fans on that front.
Wilder spoke with Jim Gray in an interview on Showtime after his first-round knockout of Breazeale on Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Gray said fans want to see Wilder against better competition. Wilder understood and promised the fight with Joshua would happen.
“I know a lot of people want to know when the (Anthony) Joshua fight happening. All these fights are in discussion. No doors are closed; all parties that’s involved are talking. It’s going to take my team and his team, maybe me and him as well, to sit down, handle this and squash everything and get this fight done for the fans,” Wilder said. “This fight will happen. With patience comes time and I just want [the fans] to have patience and give it a little time to make this happen.
“We risk our lives, so we want to make sure we get the best and most money that’s possible. Let us get our time to iron out our differences, and you guys will know when it happens.”
Joshua and Wilder have gone back-and-forth for well over a year about a potential fight, with Wilder offering Joshua $50 million last year to fight. Joshua is the IBO, IBF, WBA, and WBO heavyweight champion. He is signed to DAZN, and Wilder is signed with PBC, which makes it challenging for a fight to be arranged, but if there is enough willingness and flexibility, something can be worked out. Maybe both sides are trying to play things carefully and time things right before taking on the toughest fights of their careers.
Anthony Joshua is still eyeing a fight with Deontay Wilder after continuing his undefeated ways on Saturday night.
Joshua beat Alexander Povetkin via 7th-round TKO at Wembley Stadium in London to improve to 22-0 with 21 knockouts. Though his nose was bloodied early in the fight, Joshua came on strong in the 7th, dropping Povetkin once and then finishing off his wobbly opponent soon thereafter.
In his post-fight interview with DAZN, Joshua said he wanted to face Wilder next.
"This is chapter 2."
So what's next for @anthonyfjoshua?
— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) September 22, 2018
Joshua has four heavyweight title belts and is viewed by many as the top heavyweight in the world, with Wilder being his best challenger. Wilder is 40-0 with 39 knockouts and holds the WBC heavyweight belt, though his critics question the level of competition he has faced. He can answer many of those questions with a win over Tyson Fury on Dec. 1.
Joshua and Wilder were involved in fight negotiations this year that fell apart, so getting them together in the ring will not be easy. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn even mentioned a second fight with Dillian Whyte as a potential backup plan if the Wilder fight does not materialize.
- Anthony Joshua
Anthony Joshua’s fight against Alexander Povetkin on Saturday night in London was more than just a boxing match; it was a spectacle.
The fight marked Joshua’s debut on DAZN, the new sports streaming service, which did its best to put on a high-quality show for its viewers. They had Michael Buffer as the ring announcer, and they took things up a notch with an overwhelming ring walk from Joshua.
Joshua emerged from smoke and made his way through a packed, dark Wembley Stadium to the ring. He was accompanied by the music of rapper Nines.
— Ringside Rave (@RingsideRave) September 22, 2018
It’s cold; it’s rainy. It’s the unified heavyweight championship before 80,000 plus at Wembley Stadium in London. The biggest star in the sport, Anthony Joshua, makes his way to the ring for his fight with Alexander Povetkin #JoshuaPovetkin pic.twitter.com/PUZTgmduQa
— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) September 22, 2018
Joshua bumped fists with many of the fans on his way to the ring.
It’s go time. @anthonyfjoshua makes his way out to the ring!
— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) September 22, 2018
The lengthy ring walk, which many viewers compared to wrestler The Undertaker, established that Joshua was the star of the show.
He won via 7th-round TKO to retain his four heavyweight championship belts and improve to 22-0. A fight against Deontay Wilder can’t come soon enough.
- Anthony Joshua
Deontay Wilder has put the ball in Anthony Joshua’s court, and it’s a very, very lucrative ball.
Wilder and his team offered Joshua a $50 million minimum guarantee for the two to meet in the boxing ring later this year. The Los Angeles Times’ Lance Pugmire and Sky Sports confirm the offer is for the two heavyweights to meet between September and December later this year. Wilder would like the fight to be in the US, but his promoter told Sky Sports that is not a deal-breaking point.
The $50 million offer to Joshua is a minimum amount as he would receive the greater of 50 percent of the revenue of the fight or $50 million.
The two fighters are extremely dangerous in the ring. Wilder, 32, is 40-0 with 39 knockouts. Joshua, 28, is 21-0 in his career with 20 knockouts.
The big knock against Wilder has been questions about the level of competition he has faced. Taking on Joshua would put all that aside.
Here is a video The Bronze Bomber released about him seeking a fight with Joshua:
.@anthonyfjoshua Mate! I sent this personally this time just so there’s no miscommunication. Tell @EddieHearn to let you personally check his email this time. BTW I sent Your manager Rob McCracken the email as well. I’m looking forward to our meeting in the ring. #KingVsKing pic.twitter.com/WbH8SB5Qm5
— Deontay Wilder (@BronzeBomber) April 25, 2018
Joshua said after his last fight that Wilder did not want to fight. Clearly he was wrong about that.
Anthony Joshua made it clear after his win on Saturday over Joseph Parker at Principality Stadium in Wales that he wants to face Deontay Wilder next.
Joshua went the distance for the first time in his career, beating Parker by unanimous decision in their 12-round championship fight. The win gave him Parker’s WBO heavyweight title belt. Wilder is the WBC heavyweight champ — which is the one belt he’s missing.
Asked after his fight on Showtime whom he’d like to fight next, Joshua mentioned Wilder first.
“Wilder. Or (Tyson) Fury. Either one,” he said.
But Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn said Wilder doesn’t want the fight.
“Deontay Wilder was supposed to be here but he pulled out. They don’t want it. They’ve never approached us. Deontay Wilder’s people don’t contact us. They don’t want to know. He talks the talk, he can’t walk the walk.”
Joshua predicted that if the two were to fight, he’d win by knockout.
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) March 31, 2018
Wilder is 40-0 with 39 career knockouts. He defeated Luis Ortiz on March 3 via 10th-round TKO in Brooklyn and would not be easy for anyone to defeat.