Hearn Glad Ref Stopped Joshua-Ruiz Fight
The stoppage in Andy Ruiz Jr.’s upset over Anthony Joshua was met with some controversy initially, but Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, says it was the right call.
Joshua dropped Ruiz in the third round of their unified heavyweight title fight last week, but Ruiz stormed back to drop Joshua twice in the round. Ruiz then dropped the previously-undefeated British boxer twice in the seventh to get the knockout and win, pulling off arguably boxing’s biggest heavyweight upset since Mike Tyson vs. Buster Douglas and Lennox Lewis vs. Hasim Rahman.
Hearn said that Joshua was so beat up from the third round that he remembers nothing from the fight from that round on.
“He doesn’t remember anything really from the third round,” Hearn said. “In fact, he’s taken a little positivity that he managed to go four rounds after that because he says, ‘You know, my senses weren’t there.'”
Some fans and media were upset with the stoppage in the seventh round. At that point, Joshua had turned his back to the referee and stood up against a turnbuckle, with his mouth guard not in his mouth (it was punched out). The referee asked Joshua if he wanted to continue, and while Joshua said he did, the referee elected to not let Joshua continue.
Hearn, however, said the referee made the right call, as Joshua’s body language made it look like he had no spirit left to fight, regardless of his verbal response.
“If you actually watch it back, we were watching it last night, and Anthony says ‘yes,’ and goes to walk forward, and the ref just nudges him and he goes back on the ropes, and then the ref stops it,” Hearn said. “I’m actually glad he did cause Anthony would’ve kept going all night.”
Joshua and his team have exercised an immediate rematch clause, with a second encounter likely for November or December.
Original Story: Boxing Scene