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Andy Ruiz Jr. knocks out Anthony Joshua to claim heavyweight titles

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Andy Ruiz Jr. knocks out Anthony Joshua to claim heavyweight titles

Andy Ruiz Jr. spoiled the long-awaited U.S. debut of unified heavyweight champion and British star Anthony Joshua to score four knockdowns and record a spectacular upset via seventh-round TKO at Madison Square Garden.

Not only did Ruiz get up off the canvas early in Round 3 in order to do what oddsmakers felt was nearly impossible, he showed tremendous poise, power and fearlessness in systematically dismantling Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) to flip the heavyweight division upside down.

Ruiz, 29, a native of southern California, became the first boxer of Mexican descent to win a heavyweight title as he captured Joshua’s IBF, WBA and WBO titles with excessive force and heart. The upset was arguably the biggest within the division since Hasim Rahman stopped Lennox Lewis in 2001 and brought back memories of James “Buster” Douglas’ 1990 win over Mike Tyson.

“I just want to thank God for giving me this victory. Without him this wouldn’t have been possible,” Ruiz said. “This is what I have been dreaming about. This is what I have been working hard for, and I can’t believe I just made my dreams come true.”

The 29-year-old Joshua, the sport’s biggest star globally, never quite recovered from a pair of shocking knockdowns in Round 3 that took place shortly after he dropped Ruiz for the first time in the American’s career.

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Ameyaw Kissi Debrah, known professionally as Ameyaw Debrah, is a Ghanaian celebrity blogger, freelance journalist, and reporter.

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