THE knockout of the year is usually one of the most anticipated by boxing fans. While boxing is referred to as the “Sweet Science,” there’s no denying that a knockout is the ultimate expression of conquest and domination in this brutal sport.
There were many potential winners. Among them were Teofimo Lopez vs. Diego Magdaleno, Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Anthony Crolla and Saul Alvarez vs. Sergey Kovalev.
But the knockout of the year was delivered by a heavyweight boxer with an inter-generational talent for knockout punching, Deontay Wilder. Luis “King Kong” Ortiz (31-2, 26KOs), a dangerous Cuban southpaw heavyweight was dominating the rematch. He was clearly the better boxer and was having his way with the power-punching Wilder, landing several nasty looking left hands that rocked “The Bronze Bomber.”
But because Wilder (42-0, 41KOs) arguably possesses the most devastating right hand in boxing history, all it took was one that landed right on the button.
It didn’t even look like there was a lot of torque behind it. It was short, straight and deadly accurate.
UPSET. This was an easy one. Anthony Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) was undefeated and the holder of the World Boxing Association, International Boxing Federation, World Boxing Organization heavyweight belts. He was also built like a Greek God and was universally considered the best heavyweight in the business.
Andy Ruiz (33-2, 22KOs) was pudgy, blubbery and shorter by several inches. He was a last-minute replacement and a 15-1 underdog.
During one of the press conferences, Joshua even playfully and good naturedly loaned to Ruiz the belts for a photo opportunity, which brought down the whole room. Unfortunately for Joshua, that turned out to be a harbinger of things to come.
Joshua dominated the early rounds, landing jabs and right hands. He knocked down Ruiz in the third round, but the latter got up and responded with two knockdowns of his own.
The next three rounds became a nip-and-tuck affair, but you could tell that Joshua’s confidence was shot while Ruiz was hell bent on scoring that major upset. He did so in the seventh round after knocking down Joshua twice. Joshua was unable to convince the referee he was fit to continue.
In scoring that upset of the year, Ruiz became the first Mexican-American heavyweight champion in boxing history.
LAST ROUND. It’s on a dear friend, Marie Blanche Regual Braun who recently celebrated her birthday. Cheers !