Andy Ruiz Jr. rocked the boxing world at Madison Square Garden Saturday night, capturing the Heavyweight Championship against Anthony Joshua, the sport’s most dominant figure.
The burst came out of nowhere, the pudgy underdog rising from the canvas and pummeling the reigning champ — the one with the almost unreal, glistening, strapping body — with a stream of short jabs.
The sight took the breath away from a Madison Square Garden crowd expecting that at any moment England’s Anthony Joshua would assert himself and send Andy Ruiz Jr. reeling to the ropes. It went the other way. Once Ruiz was knocked down in the third round, something in his eyes changed, and within moments a quick punch had Joshua buckling and falling.
By the time the fight was stopped in the 7th round, Joshua was dropped three times more, and finally there was this — Ruiz in the center of the ring, arms raised, his joy mixing with his own disbelief. Heavyweight boxing had an unlikely new champion — the first ever with Mexican roots. And Garden boxing had seen one of its most stirring moments since perhaps the days of Ali and Frazier nearly a half-century ago.
Enjoy these images captured by MSG photographers, revealing both the sheer, in-close ferocity and the grandeur of the event.
About The Madison Square Garden Company
The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) is a world leader in live sports and entertainment experiences. The company presents or hosts a broad array of premier events in its diverse collection of iconic venues: New York’s Madison Square Garden, Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and Beacon Theatre; the Forum in Inglewood, CA; and The Chicago Theatre. Other MSG properties include legendary sports franchises: the New York Knicks (NBA) and the New York Rangers (NHL); two development league teams – the Westchester Knicks (NBAGL) and the Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL); and esports teams through Counter Logic Gaming, a leading North American esports organization, and Knicks Gaming, MSG’s NBA 2K League franchise. In addition, the Company features the popular original production – the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes – and through Boston Calling Events, produces New England’s preeminent Boston Calling Music Festival. Also under the MSG umbrella is TAO Group, a world-class hospitality group with globally-recognized entertainment dining and nightlife brands: Tao, Marquee, Lavo, Avenue, Beauty & Essex and Cathédrale. More information is available at www.themadisonsquaregardencompany.com