The boxing world has been left reeling from the sensational defeat of heavyweight Anthony Joshua is a fight everyone thought he would coast through.
Joshua was knocked down four times with the fight stopped in the seventh round in one of boxing’s greatest ever upsets.
He was comprehensively battered by US Mexican Andy Ruiz Jr.
Brit Joshua held the IBF, WBO and WBA world titles up to the fight at Madison Square Gardens in New York at the weekend.
The plan was for the 1-25 on bookies favourite to floor Ruiz, who only stepped in to fill a void left six weeks ago when Jarrell Miller withdrew from the bout.
Flurry of punches
Joshua, with 22 wins and 21 at knock out before facing Ruiz, may have underestimated Ruiz as an easy mark, especially when he knocked him to the floor in the third round with a left hook.
But Ruiz clearly had not read the same script and had his own ideas about the fight, especially as he had nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Seconds later, he decked Joshua for the first time with a right to the temple.
After more knock downs and a flurry of punches hitting home in the seventh round, Joshua went to ground and the ref stopped the fight.
“This is what I have been dreaming about and I cannot believe I made my dreams come true,” said Ruiz.
Observers will say that the result was not a fluke. Ruiz had desire and the confidence to take the fight to Joshua and was a worthy winner.
Ruiz now has 33 wins and one loss and can celebrate a night of glory as the unsung underdog who toppled a hero against all the odds.
“I got beaten by a good fighter,” said Joshua. “It will be interesting to see how far he goes, but this is all part of the journey.
“He’s a champion for now, I shall return.”
The result ranks with the defeats of Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson, two great champions who lost to unknown warriors Buster Douglas and Hasim Rahman, whose names have faded from memory in the passing of time.