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Gatling Won’t Watch Ruiz-Joshua 2, But Likes JOSHUA Via Stoppage

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I don’t know if The Fat Lady is about to sing, but I’m pretty sure The Fat Man hasn’t missed a meal. It seems the only running unified heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. did in the run up for today’s Ringling Brothers “sportswashing” event in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia was a Taco Bell style ‘Run For The Border’. 

A less than svelte, 268 lb Ruiz Jr did the Wall Street and Las Vegas unthinkable by rising from a thunderous 3rd round knockdown to drop, pummel and stop a befuddled Anthony Joshua on June 1 via 7th round TKO. I was to attend that fight at Madison Square Garden and chose not to, bothered by what I deemed a highly questionable and suspicious “washing” of Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller from the proceedings. 

In my estimation, a Mexican “Butterbean” with an entire nation behind him was better business than a dangerous badass from Brooklyn who produced fear in the eyes of AJ. Though I thought Joshua would overcome that to defeat Big Baby, I saw all I needed to see at the launch event at the same MSG for their fight that wasn’t.

It wasn’t good politics, which is the same thing as bad business.

For that reason, I didn’t see their first fight until a few days later. I do not trust Eddie Hearn or DAZN, then or now, for historic precedent I deem valid. This fight has NO BUSINESS in Saudi Arabia, as so beautifully chronicled by the lovely expert of all things pugilist Gayle Falkenthal in “Ruiz Joshua 2 Sportswashing Rocks The Casbah.”

The November 2018 RING article titled “Fast Eddie”, written with a lobbyist’s touch by what felt like a bought Gareth A. Davies, left such a Pepto Bismal taste in my revisionist sensitive mouth that the event became distasteful. So is this one. For those very reasons, I will not be watching the rematch between these two for very principled reasons not unlike the first, although the circumstances are a little different. 

I am beyond tired of corruption in boxing, along with a decided slant toward all things corporate for dirty petrodollars that exclude the common fan. I’ll gather that a quick scan of the 15,000 or so seats at Diriyah Arena (mind you, Joshua routinely boasts 90,000 plus fans in London, while a rematch with Ruiz in Mexico could have easily put over 100,000 asses in seats to boost the Mexican economy for THEIR champion) won’t include any of the blue collar people both Ruiz or Joshua truly represent. The only such “real person” in Saudi Arabia will be Harold Knight, who just happens to be my hometown childhood hero and the former trainer of true heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis. It’s why I’m picking AJ…

..to stop Ruiz…

Andy Ruiz weighed in Friday and the weight has people wondering if he's mentally set for the rematch.

Andy Ruiz weighed in Friday and the weight has people wondering if he’s mentally set for the rematch.

..emphatically to reclaim the title for an honest United Kingdom.       

It was interesting to see the last presser for Ruiz and Joshua prior to the weigh-in. There we see a 284 lb Ruiz stuffed into a New York Knicks jersey in a very workmanlike UPS sort of way. His counterpart, AJ, was rocked out in Gotham Grey with Beats By Dre headphones on. I couldn’t help but take in the symbiotic nature of it all, for I’d just written “Warning” not long before. They cleverly flipped the script. Ruiz believes it is he about to go James Bond #007 and “No Time To Die” (I hope I’m wrong), while a slimmed out and 237 lb Joshua mellows out to “What A Time To Be Alive” by Drake. This fight, to me, has the look of a Thanksgiving Day contented Eric “Butterbean” Esch opposite a very serious Primo Carnera free of Mob vices with a trainer kicking his ass. 

We all know what happened on February 11, 1990. I certainly do. I ran away from my horrified girlfriend in Times Square, barely avoiding being struck by yellow taxis unobstructed by an unheard of Uber or Lyft, to catch my idol, Mike Tyson, being bludgeoned by Buster Douglas. I thought I was going to die. “It’s just a fight John,” I recall her screaming. No it wasn’t. She knows that now. Las Vegas and Wall Street won that day, just like they did on June 1, 2019. They also won on October 25, 1990, for in the very first Douglas defense, he was busted in four shameful rounds by a highly motivated Holyfield in place of Tyson, who was on his way to jail for misogyny more than rape.

Douglas weighed in at 246 lbs for Holyfield, gaining 15 lbs to defend his title. Wouldn’t you know Ruiz gained 15 lbs to defend against Joshua?

The Gatling prediction: Anthony Joshua KO 4                

About John Gatling

John Gatling

Senior correspondent for NY Fights and author of upcoming book, "The Fist Club." Conscious indie recording artist "T@z" and humanist advocate for the Green Party.

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