Andy Ruiz Jr., a replacement opponent from the gritty border farming town of Imperial, Calif., pulled off the biggest heavyweight upset of his generation Saturday night, ruining the U.S. debut of England’s three-belt heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua by seventh-round technical knockout.
Ruiz (33-1, 22 knockouts) became the first heavyweight champion of Mexican descent by knocking down Joshua four times — twice each in the third and seventh rounds — to strip away the World Boxing Assn., World Boxing Organization and International Boxing Federation belts from Joshua (22-1).
The victory at Madison Square Garden was nearly as stunning as James “Buster” Douglas’ 1990 knockout of Mike Tyson in Japan.
“This is what I have been dreaming about. This is what I have been working hard for. I can’t believe I just made my dreams come true,” Ruiz, 29, said in the ring as Mexican music blared.
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