I don’t know if there is anything left to say about last weekend but the nonsense being typed on keyboards knows no bounds. The narrative being built up around a British boxer losing a fight rather than a plucky guy with an excellent game plan coming in and doing what he said he would do is beginning to sound like very sour grapes. It may not be racist, but it stretches over to the absurd. I am not going to pick the fight apart, nor pick apart the fighters but I know that Andy Ruiz Jr did what others have failed to do – he went in against one of the top 3 and executed a game plan that stopped a champion in his tracks in the 7th round. Fury almost had that done to him in the 12th round against Wilder; Wilder aint faced that.
Andy Ruiz Jr beat Anthony Joshua well. He deserves the belts and he deserves the riches. Joshua is in the fight of his life now. The levels to which he has gone in his career are now gone. To scale them again he needs a performance against the unified champion that has been missing recently. He is loyal to a team that got him there once – the question is, will it get him there again? Forget knocked down in sparring stories, stories of his father having a go at Eddie Hearn, panic attacks and the rest. The answer will come later this year in the rematch. Is Joshua a Lennox Lewis or is he a David Price? The main thing is that, at last, we might get an answer to a question in the heavyweights…
On the undercard records will show that on Saturday the 1st of June in Madison Square Gardens, the explosive, Joshua Buatsi, exploded in the face of Marco Antonio Periban for the WBA international title and got him out in the 4th round. The first real inclination of any kind of upset then came when the welterweight battle between Josh Kelly and Ray Robinson for another WBA international title which ended in a draw. This was yet another British fighter that was much fancied and much loved getting a harsh lesson. Kelly might have edged it at home but away was not favoured. I thought he might struggle, and he did, but I think he will return a better fighter because of it.
The WBO international action at super lightweight between Chris Algieri and Tommy Coyle opened the show and what a fight. Not many expected Coyle to win and I said that Coyle could light up the Gardens… he did. It was a hearty battle ending with Jamie Moore, Coyle’s trainer pulling him out of the fight because of the punishment he was taking. Coyle may retire or a wee fight in Vegas to end it all? If he does retire my God what a career and we shall miss him greatly.
The WBA super and WBC diamond super middleweight fight between World Boxing Super Series winner Callum Smith and Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam saw exactly what we needed from Smith. It was a massive performance, N’Dam stopped in the 3rd and the division are now on notice… Mr Canelo about?
The lightweight super fight between Delfine Persoon and Katie Taylor for the IBF, WBA, WBO, WBC titles was all we expected and a wee bit more. In my and many opinions, Taylor did not win, but records will show that she did for she left with all the belts. A rematch will extend her fighting career and delay bigger but not better fights. Persoon left in tears and is appealing. The rematch will now have some spite as it was without a doubt the best fight of 2019 so far.
On the same night in Cardiff the WBO European lightweight contest between Craig Evans and Stephen Ormond ended with a points win for Evans, the super lightweight Welsh title fight between Kieran Gething and Craig Woodruff was another points win, this time for Gething and the EBU flyweight fight between Jay Harris and Angel Moreno again was a Welsh triumph, on points, for Harris.