In front of a sold out crowd of 20,201 at Madison Square Garden and live on DAZN, Andy Ruiz, Jr. (33-1, 22 KOs) made boxing history by defeating heavyweight king Anthony Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) in his United States debut. Ruiz, Jr. captured Joshua’s IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO World Heavyweight Championship titles in a thrilling upset that ended by technical knockout in the seventh round.
In the co-feature fight of the stacked undercard, undefeated WBA Super Middleweight World Champion Callum Smith (26-0, 19 KOs) successfully defended his title for the first time against former Middleweight World Champion Hassan N’Dam (37-4, 21 KOs). Katie Taylor (14-0, 6 KOs) and Delfine Persoon (43-2, 18 KOs) put on a show which the newly crowned undisputed World Female Lightweight Champion Katie Taylor called, “a fantastic showcase for women’s boxing.” Taylor narrowly defeated Persoon to capture the final piece of the lightweight title.
Earlier in the evening, Josh Kelly (9-0-1, 6 KOs) faced Ray Robinson (24-3-2, 12 KOs) in a back-and-forth affair that resulted in a majority draw. Joshua Buatsi (11-0, 9 KOs) put on an impressive performance during his U.S. debut against Marco Antonio Periban (25-5-1, 16 KOs), stopping the more experienced contender in the fourth round via technical knockout. In the opening bout of the evening, former World Champion Chris Algieri (24-3, 9 KOs) bested Tommy Coyle (25-5, 12 KOs) via technical knockout in a super lightweight contest.
On the fight: “Heavyweight boxing baby, thank you to the people who came out this evening. That’s number one. Thank you to DAZN, Sky Sports, Andy Ruiz. Heavyweight boxing is on fire. I just have to turn it around a few notches and bring it back my way. I don’t want people to drown in their sorrows. This will show I have the power and the strength.”
On the difference between tonight and being down against Wladimir Klitschko: “It’s all the same. It just wasn’t my night. But listen, it is good for the TV. Good for DAZN and the people watching.”
On the stoppage: “I want to fight. I don’t do his job. I am never one of those fighters to disrespect a referee like he should have done this, or he should have done that. He called it off when he thought I couldn’t fight. It’s a shame. But I don’t want anyone to drown in their sorrows. It’s the long game, not the short game.”
On the immediate rematch: “100%. 100%.”
ANDY RUIZ, JR.
On the upset victory: “I want to thank God for giving me this victory, without him this wouldn’t be possible. I just feel so good, man. 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. I just want to thank my team and my family. The sky is the limit, baby.”
On what happened in the third round: “That was my first time getting dropped on the floor. It just made me stronger. It just made me want it more. I just had to knock him down back.”
On taking Anthony Joshua’s power: “It’s because of the Mexican warrior I am, I have that Mexican blood in me. Talking about the Mexican fighting style, I just proved it.”
On sensing that Anthony Joshua was hurt: “I could but I just didn’t want to throw away what I had. I just wanted to hunt him down even more and work the body. I just wanted to listen to the game plan.”
On a rematch clause: “Of course man, right now, I just want to celebrate. I just made history for Mexico. This is what I have been dreaming about since I was six years old.”
On the huge upset: “AJ got sloppy. It was a beautiful combination in the third round. He was in total control of the fight but he got sloppy and never recovered. Listen, tonight was his night but AJ will come back 100% and we will make the rematch in the U.K. in November or December. But this night now belongs to Andy Ruiz, he made history in the heavyweight division tonight. IT will go down in history as a very big one. AJ has the heart of a lion and will come back stronger. Now at least we know the opponent for the end of the year in the U.K. Absolutely we will enact the immediate rematch. He will be devastated when it sinks in. It makes the fall fight a must win.”
On his performance: “It felt good to be back in there. I took a few months longer than most new champions to get back in there but I showed that I am the best in the world. I plan to keep proving that over the next few years. I hope the fans enjoyed it and I hope to be back in the ring soon with bigger and better things.”
On his sparring with N’Dam helping tonight: “Not really, but I didn’t have to watch quite as much film on him. He is a good fighter and he has good movement. I knew if I was patient that I would get rid of him. It’s an honor to fight at Madison Square Garden, an iconic venue, to make my first title defense.”
On wanting to put on a show: “I said that in the build up – and it’s no disrespect to Hassan N’Dam – but this was a fight I was expected to win so anything less than a great performance, people would not take notice. I knew that a fan friendly, spectacular win would though. I knew it would get people talking about me. It was always about the performance just as much as the win.”
On Canelo Alvarez: “I think my audition went well. Canelo is a special fighter. I will have to wait to see what he will do in September or if not September than see what he wants to do in May. He hasn’t said he is moving up to 168 yet but I believe I am the best fighter in the world at 168 so I am open to the challenge. But I don’t want to keep waiting for the fight that might never happen, I want to keep fighting great champions in the meantime and stay busy. There’s a lot of good fighters at 168 with or without Canelo so I want to text myself against them. If Canelo steps up in the future than it will happen.”
On the close decision: “It was a very, very close fight. I felt like I won the earlier rounds and she came on strong at the end. But I feel like I did enough to win that fight. But it was very, very close and I knew it was going to be that kind of fight. Persoon was a fantastic champion and she is very, very strong. It all made for a fantastic showcase for women’s boxing. I knew this was going to be the biggest and hardest fight of my life. But I am great at digging deep. I am born for fights like these in the trenches. I worked so hard these past few months in training camp for this kind of fight. My coach is the mastermind behind this and I am so grateful.”
On listening to her corner: “That’s my problem sometimes. I like a fight a bit too much sometimes. I probably should’ve fought on the outside a bit more sometimes. But then I just needed to dig deep and get that win.”
On a rematch: “I am definitely happy to give Delfine a rematch. There are big fights out there for me. There’s Amanda Serrano and I think that fight should be next but I am really happy to fight whoever.”
On the scorecards: “Personally, I thought I won and I did enough to win. It was a good fight, let’s do it again.
On what he would’ve done differently: “I think I just kept it a little too tight at times. Don’t take the rounds off that I did. But it is what it is, I guess.”
On fighting a southpaw: “He is a clever, experienced southpaw. I had to adjust while I was in there and I thought I did. I thought I won but obviously the judges thought that the pressure of Ray Robinson was enough.”
On the support of the U.K. fans: “The support is unbelievable. I wanted to bring the win back, but I just couldn’t do it.”
On the scorecards: “Listen, he is the champ and to win you have to outwork him. I thought I did. He did a lot of moving his body, moving his head, and I stalked him. I feel like they brought a pup to a dog fight.”
On back-to-back draws: “At the end of the day, that’s why I am in the sport. I take chances. I am fighting other people’s fighters on other promoter’s cards and all that. If they feel like they are the best than they need to prove it to me. He was the champ and I thought I took his belt from him.”
On his performance: “I think it was just under a five. I rushed my work. I was too eager. I wanted to take my time. I thought I got a great win in my U.S. debut, I appreciate the welcome from the fans. Respect. I hope Antonio Periban is OK. He was slippery but once I hurt him, I thought, It’s time, it’s time.”
On where he would like to fight moving forward: “I’d like to fight back home but come out here once in a while. Hopefully in the future there’s going to be some big fights to come back here for. I am so glad to have experienced fighting in Madison Square Garden. I am humbled to be here.”
On his offensive game plan: “My whole game plan for this camp was that on June 1, 2019, at Madison Square Garden, I, Chris Algieri, will stop Tommy Coyle. I have been saying that over and over and over throughout camp. That was the game plan and we knew how to do it. I made it tougher than it needed to be but I got it done.”
On his defensive performance: “My (good looks) will be back in a few weeks, don’t worry about it. They knew I was coming with the jab and they countered it really well. They got with me some great overhand rights in the first few rounds. There was a lot of in-fighting. Tommy is a tough, young guy. If you can come out of a fight with Tommy Coyle and not have some bruises and marks, well then, I tip my hat to you. But I went in there and got the stoppage I wanted to make a statement. A little different than going and out boxing a guy.
On a fight with junior welterweight champion Maurice Hooker: “I would fight him completely different. A totally different style. I have shown many different styles throughout my career. When I fought Amir Khan, a very aggressive guy, an in-and-out kind of guy, up-and-down. Now Coyle, a punishing guy who comes forward. Ruslan Provodnikov, I boxed my head off. Whatever needs to be done to win a fight, I am willing to do it.”
12-Round Heavyweight Championship Bout
Andy Ruiz, Jr. (33-1, 22 KOs) defeats Anthony Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) by TKO at 1:27 of Round 7.
12-Round WBA Super World Middleweight Title Bout @ 168 lbs.
Callum Smith (26-0, 19 KOs) defeats Hassan N’Dam (37-4, 21 KOs) by TKO at 2:56 of Round 3.
10-Round Female Lightweight Unification Title Bout @ 135 lbs.
Katie Taylor (14-0, 6 KOs) defeats Delfine Persoon (43-2, 18 KOs) by majority decision.
Scores: (95-95, 96-94 x2)
10-Round WBA International Welterweight Title Bout @ 147 lbs.
Josh Kelly (9-0-1, 6 KOs) and Ray Robinson (24-3-2, 12 KOs) fought to a majority draw.
Scores: (96-95 [Kelly], 95-95, 95-95)
10- Round Light Heavyweight Bout @ 175 lbs.
Joshua Buatsi (11-0, 9 KOs) defeats Marco Antonio Periban (25-5-1, 16 KOs) by TKO at 1:39 of Round 4.
10–Round Vacant WBO International Super Lightweight Title Bout @ 140 lbs.
Chris Algieri (24-3, 9 KOs) defeats Tommy Coyle (25-5, 12 KOs) by TKO in Round 8.