GERMANY’S Tom Schwarz shares little in common with Mexico’s Andy Ruiz Jnr aside from the fact he punches heavyweights in the head for a living and has been labelled everything from ‘underdog’ and ‘fall guy’ to ‘tune-up’ and ‘sacrificial lamb’ ahead of his next fight.
Historically, these terms are used to suggest a mismatch is about to take place. Nowadays, however, thanks to Ruiz’s exploits on June 1 at Madison Square Garden, they resonate, they unsettle, and they excite. Because, let’s face it, underdogs are cool again. They’re dangerous again. They’re respected again.
By upsetting WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, Ruiz has redefined what it means to be an underdog in 2019 and given hope to Tom Schwarz and every other opponent operating out of an away corner.