How Joshua’s Tricks Finished Ruiz
ElevateNews takes a look at the victory of the Nigerian born British heavy weight boxer Anthony Joshua over Andy Ruiz Jr.
Briton Lennox Lewis was the last undisputed heavy weight boxing champion and one of the greats that suffered sudden loss from an underdog.
In April 2001, Lewis lost to Hasim Rahman in a bout nobody ever thought the American would have a chance.
Of course, Lewis overwhelmingly controlled the match, having won all the rounds until the later end when a big right hook from Rahman fell on his head close to his ear.
Lewis found himself on the canvass and could not rise at the count of ten. Every punch in this division is heavy and no boxer who knows his onions will ever allow a stray punch to land on his body.
Lewis learnt a great lesson and in November of that year, six months after, he knocked out Rahman.
He was so confident that he would win Rahman and having realised that overconfidence ruined his first match, Lewis was so cautious in the rematch.
Just as Joe Frazier’s deadly hook brought down Mohammed Ali in their first match in 1971 because Ali was overconfident.
In 1990, Graham Douglas came from nowhere to beat a hell out of Mike Tyson and clinched the prestigious WBC belt.
It was devastating as Tyson crawled in the ring searching for his tooth guard. A great upset in boxing history.
America has always produced the most ferocious boxers who do not only come with heavy punches but also with the extra ordinary skills and tactics.
However in recent times, most heavy weight boxers from America are lacking in tactics but power.
The WBC belt holder, Deontay Wilder is believed to be most feared in that division now because of his big right hand, which I call sledge hammer. To me, in the art of boxing, Wilder does not belong to the group of the greats.
He is what I can refer to as a carpenter who wears gloves to carry hammer.
He hit it on the Cuban heavyweight, Luis Ortis a few weeks ago and won on KO despite that the Cuban was winning all seven rounds on points.
At present, Tyson Fury, a Briton stands out when it comes to tactics. Fury is not a big puncher but his jabs are very accurate and stinging.
Many of these jabs rocked Wilder in their first match, which ended in a draw and set another date for both in February.
The Mexican American, Andy Ruiz Jr showed the grits when he beat Joshua in one of the boxing upsets in June but his outing six months after shows he has just one game plan.
On Saturday night of December 7, his game plan failed him against Joshua.
It was a day he would never love to remember. A day he had to return all the three belts he won six months ago back to the original owner, Joshua.
Ruiz came with power but met tactics in Joshua that made him to forget all his plans. As Mike Tyson put it, “Game plan works for you until you are hit with the first blow.”
Joshua cut Ruiz’ eyelid in the first round, a sign that the Mexican game plan had begun to fail.
Joshua fought from outside. He was not ready to wrestle with a pig so that he did not get dirty.
He used his long reach effectively and made Ruiz to look so ordinary and helpless.
The first three rounds went for Joshua but in round 4, Ruiz forced himself into the body of Joshua and fought from the inside to win the round.
Joshua stayed calm and fit. He would not lose his head until round 8 when he caved in to the power punch of Ruiz and lost the round.
In all, Joshua won 10 rounds while Ruiz managed to win two. Like Yoruba adage put it, “Ogbon ju agbara lo’.
Joshua won on unanimous decision, 118-110; 118-110; 119-109.
It was not a split decision neither was it a controversial victory but a lesson to take home by all boxers, that great boxers have numerous tactics.
Joshua outclassed and outboxed Ruiz whose only plan was to bully the Briton to retain the belt.
Wilder remains the most brutal now but the day his right hand will fail him, the American will be so sorry for himself because he will be battered.
It failed him against Fury but the judges played politics on the Briton.
Joshua should keep on working on his tactics. Who knows, power may fail Wilder when they meet as it failed Ruiz on Saturday.