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WHO WON THE WEEKEND? The Andy Ruiz Edition



WHO WON THE WEEKEND? The Andy Ruiz Edition

It seems extraneous to ask, because how could it be anyone but the chubby kid, right?

Who else won the weekend but the 20 to 1 underdog Andy Ruiz, the Cali resident of Mexican descent, whose parents emigrated from Mexico? Hey, he gets my vote, for the month, but I ask anyways, to the NYF Squad and fam…Who Won the Weekend?

Who won the weekend, Abe Gonzalez? “It has to be Andy “The Destroyer” Ruiz. He caught Joshua by surprise in that first round by bringing the fight to him. His effective body shots created those opportunities upstairs. That seemed to be the game plan going into the fight and led to the Ruiz win. Andy Ruiz is a fan friendly fighter in and out of the ring and treats everyone with a certain level of respect.A huge win for an overall good guy. Here is a toast to the New Unified Heavyweight Champ!”

Kelsey McCarson weighed in: “Andy Ruiz won the entire decade by pulling off one of the biggest upsets in heavyweight boxing history. That he did it after suffering the first knockdown of his career in the third round makes it even more impressive. All hail the new heavyweight champion of the world.”

David Phillips voted: “It's gotta be Andy Ruiz. The first heavyweight champ of Mexican descent, and proof that athletes come in all shapes and sizes. Biggest losers are people who say they called the upset of the century. First, it wasn't that. It wasn't close to Buster Douglas. At best, it was Oliver McCall. Second, if you “called it,” you were just taking a low-risk/high reward flyer. If you are right, you get to call yourself a genius, If you're wrong, no one remembers. Either way, you ain't Nostradamus.”

Deontay Wilder damn sure sure lost it– that's for sure, and this one filled my trash can with tin foil,” said John Gatling. “Well there's a lot of ways to go with this, but I don't see Andy Ruiz being demonstrably better than John Ruiz from a little back in the day. He's more of the Mexican version of spirited Tony Tubbs. This is boxing throwing a bowl of 11-1 odds and guacamole at us in a way that suits the suits. AJ closed at a massive -2500 after all the money came in, meaning $100 laid on him raked in $4. This, from a guy ringing the bell to open Wall Street less than two months ago. That said, I'm feeling like Vegas won the weekend, I don't give a damn what the official narrative is from bookies in the desert.”

“Only one winner this weekend and it was the boy himself Andy Ruiz Jr,” said Hamza Ahmed. “What a story eh? Jarrell Miller fails 3 drug tests, is out of the Joshua fight and Hearn and Co hunt for a replacement. In steps Andy Ruiz Jr, who made his case via a direct message to Eddie Hearn on Instagram all the while being an Al Haymon fighter who just beat Dimitrenko approximately 5 weeks ago. The initial reaction was “what's this fat fella going to do to Joshua on short notice?”. The answer – emphatically shake up the sporting world.  Stories like Ruiz Jr's are EXACTLY WHY WE LOVE BOXING and when the stars align, boxing is the best sport on Earth. This is the only sport where mortals can become immortals by one punch. Where ordinary men become extraordinary. Where all that's needed are mere seconds to alter the trajectory of your life forever. There is no other sport like boxing who can tell you stories like boxing can and Andy Ruiz Jr, you just wrote a new chapter in the book of boxing's magical fairytales. Joshua will be back, no doubt but this is Ruiz's moment. This is his world now – we are just witnesses. Ruiz is also a life lesson of what you can achieve when you back yourself. Luis Ortiz backed out of a life changing opportunity, Dillian Whyte wasn't happy with the finances, Jarrell Miller failed 3 drug tests, Deontay Wilder turned down a lucrative DAZN deal yet Andy Ruiz Jr of all people, trusted himself. He showed massive NUTS in taking the fight and ultimately, proved he was above the noise. And speaking of nuts, Snickers need to really get behind Andy and offer him a lucrative sponsorship deal. Heck they could even manufacture a limited edition line for him. We've got Snickers Peanut Butter, Snickers Almonds, Snickers Hazelnuts – time to put out Snickers Andy Ruiz Jr's Nuts.”

“I like this same podium, with an honorable mention for the city of Liverpool. UEFA Champions League and Callum Smith's defense on the same day,” said Diego Morilla of RING, who gets a shoutout from me for bringing me goodies from his Argentina!

Said Andrew Cho, of Everlast: “100% Ruiz won the weekend. Hate to cast a shadow on such a great win, but Al Haymon has also quietly won the weekend. He straight up owns the heavyweight division now. If Tyson Fury doesn’t take it from him, we’ll have to wait for the young crop of heavyweights to take it from him and that could take a while. On the brighter side… this guy was also impressive. Andy’s cutman was wearing sunglasses indoors for the whole fight and they stayed on during the entire action. Just adds to the image that Andy’s team looks very genuine. Also heard Manny Robles was super emotional after the win as well. Well deserved win for Andy and his team.”

“Who won the weekend?
1. Andy Ruiz: Not because he showed up and made a couple of million dollars as a last minute replacement, but because he showed and made sure to become a historic factor in a sport that we all love so much and with so much passion.
Ruiz enshrined and carved his name into the history books and quite possibly, into the hall of fame with his amazing win over Anthony Joshua. We have to look at the bigger picture here: he bested and defeated the world's number ranked fighter, who possessed four legitimate heavyweight titles. He defeated a man who had the world at his feet, who many believed would become the next undisputed heavyweight champion. Ruiz fought with pride, showed true grit, and a relentless attitude of “NO QUIT! NO SURRENDER!” He took Joshua's best shots: from that powerhouse left hook which dropped him in the third round, to the thudding straight right hand that Joshua immediately landed after he rose from the canvass. He ate Joshua's best punches and showed the 6'6 former champion there's more to boxing than landing a power shot here and there.  Ruiz was the winner not just for this weekend, but many more weekends to come.
2. Women's Boxing: the undisputed lightweight championship fight between Katie Taylor vs Delfine Persoon was an all-out bloody mess and you know what: I LIKE THAT! Both women threw non-stop punches, all the way to the end of the fight and after. Each round, in my opinion, it was Persoon charging forward with constant pressure and landing heavy power punches. I proclaimed Persoon to be a female Terminator because she just kept coming. No matter what Taylor at her or tried to slip, dip, and dodge, Persoon would continuously drop bombs on Taylor. I was surprised and a bit upset at the final decision of 95-95, 96-94 (Taylor), 96-94 (Taylor). To take a fight away from a long-reigning champion such as Persoon was tough to see. That was a hard pill to swallow and we all know Taylor will never fight her again. It was a great fight with a bad decision, but definitely a win for women's boxing.
3. Chris Algieri: with his stoppage of the UK's Tommy Coyle, he has positioned for a shot at another world title, namely the WBO Super Lightweight (140lb) that he once held. Prior to the fight, Andre Rozier (Algieri's trainer) shared with me that Chris was coming for the knockout, nothing more, nothing less. In true Algieri form, he boxed his way to the knockout after exchanging and taking some hard power shots from Coyle. Hats off to Coyle and give thanks to his trainer for stopping the fight when he did because if the fight would have continued, it may not have ended well for him.
4. Madison Square Garden: Although the heavyweight fight wasn't a sellout, it still gave fans a sense of yester years' greatness. DAZN and Matchroom Boxing did their best to allow fight fans and media access to the fighters during week's lead-up. The fight brought a lot more attention to a venue that hasn't had that type of electricity at a championship fight in quite some time,” said Xavier Porter.

Who won the weekend, Alden Chodash? “Andy Ruiz not only won the weekend, but he won the hearts of millions of boxing fans who suffered for years waiting for a Wilder-Joshua megafight while politics got in the way. His victory should serve as a message to all the greedy promoters/network executives currently “marinating” potential superfights (e.g., Crawford-Spence) that ANYTHING can happen in the ring, regardless of how dominant a champion is perceived. Sadly, in this day and age, you’re A: Only as good as your last performance, and B: Considerably less marketable after a loss, which as 15-1 Andy Ruiz showed us, can happen when you least expect it. So let’s all hail the new unified heavyweight champion of the world Andy Ruiz, the first American-Mexican to ever earn the distinction.”

Michael Hirschbein, IBO rep, what say youse:

“First Place: Andy Ruiz Jr.
Second Place: PBC
Third Place: The Trolling of Stephen A. Smith on Twitter

Honorable mention: Taylor v. Persoon”

Founder/editor Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the then-impregnable Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist has covered the sport since for ESPN The Magazine,, Bad Left Hook and RING. His journalism career started with NY Newsday in 1999. Michael Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and for Facebook Fightnight Live, since 2017.