Feature | Highlight 1 | Issue | Premium | May 29 2019

Opposites Attract – The story of Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz Jnr

Andy Ruiz Jnr may not be the opponent we wanted for Anthony Joshua nor look like his equal but he’s a refreshing change from the recent chaos at heavyweight
Anthony Joshua
Action Images/Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

NOTHING looks right in the heavyweight division these days. The bodies, once regular sized and almost relatable, don’t look right and the belts around wider waists don’t look right. There are too many of them, their meaning devalued, and too many fighters, because of this, have licence to call themselves champions.

Then there’s the schedule. That doesn’t look right, either. On it are fights, title fights, but not the ones anybody really wants to see. Title fights in name only, they tend to feature undefeated champions eager to remain undefeated against unheralded challengers eager to get paid. It’s a recipe not so much for clarity as ambivalence.

Another thing that doesn’t look right is Andy Ruiz Jnr, the next contender out to try and shock the world. To the casual observer, his face doesn’t fit, not as a heavyweight title challenger, nor as Anthony Joshua’s equal on a fight poster promoting a WBA, IBF and WBO world heavyweight title fight at Madison Square Garden, New York on June 1. His face is quite round, you see, only not as round as his stomach, and Tyson Fury even went so far as to compare Ruiz to a nine-year-old wilderness explorer from a Pixar movie. Cruel though it was, many saw the likeness.

 

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