When Anthony Joshua was defeated by Andy Ruiz the boxing world was in shock. While Anthony Joshua would go on to reclaim his title in a rematch months later it doesn’t change what happened on that night when Andy Ruiz overcame the odds to defeat Joshua by knockout.
In the fight, Anthony Joshua was a heavy favorite with Andy Ruiz a 25/1 longshot. It should not have been a contest at all, never mind a defeat. Joshua made a number of mistakes that cost him the fight against Ruiz. When he returned to reclaim the title he rectified many.
The biggest mistake he made was underestimating Ruiz. Ruiz has a good fighting record and is a good boxer. He was a late entry to the fight and many feel Joshua had been preparing differently. When Ruiz was announced he didn’t focus on the fighter enough and clearly struggled against the smaller man’s fighting style.
The occasion may have got to Joshua too. It was his first fight at Madison Square Gardens and the US. To fight at the Mecca of boxing is an intimidating notion for any fighter. It appears Joshua didn’t cope well.
Some even blamed music star Drake for the defeat. There is a myth growing that any pro who takes a photo with Drake will lose their match. Joshua took a picture with the star and uploaded the photo with the caption “bought to break the curse”. While we don’t think Drake was to blame it shows Joshua’s mentality going into the fight, he thought he just had to turn up.
The final factor that likely was key, Joshua was not ring-ready. He had not fought since the previous year and looked visibly rusty. He struggled in areas he should have excelled.
It was in those same areas that he excelled strongly against Ruiz in the rematch and managed to win back the title. He must now focus on remaining sharp so that no further upsets happen in his career.