Ruiz dethrones Joshua, Buster Douglas topples Tyson: Biggest heavyweight upsets

Andy Ruiz Jr pulled off one of the most sensational boxing upsets by dethroning Anthony Joshua at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.

Joshua was a huge favourite to retain his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles in the Brit's maiden professional fight overseas but was floored four times before being stopped in the seventh round.

Unfancied Mexican Ruiz stunned Joshua, consigning him to a first defeat in one of the most famous boxing venues.

After an astonishing night in New York, Omnisport looks back on some of the biggest heavyweight shocks over the years.


February 15, 1978: 'The Greatest' loses Spinks epic

Muhammad Ali was a 1-10 favourite when he first faced Leon Spinks, a man fighting professionally for only the eighth time, in Las Vegas.

After a titanic battle between boxing's biggest star and his underdog opponent, Ali looked to have done just enough when the first scorecard was read out in his favour.

However, the two remaining judges decided Spinks was the winner, despite conceding almost two stones in weight to Ali. Once again, a rematch produced the opposite result.
 

February 11, 1990: Iron Mike stopped by Buster Douglas

The Tokyo Dome played host to arguably THE biggest boxing upset in history, as Mike Tyson lost his unbeaten record, which had read 37-0 with 33 KOs, to the unheralded James 'Buster' Douglas.

Only one casino offered odds on Douglas winning the fight, his price a staggering 42-1. Yet that is what happened, with Tyson left to rue a lack of preparation for a contest he had presumed would prove a breeze. 'Iron Mike' was sent to the canvas in round 10, his aura of invincibility permanently shattered.


April 22, 2001: Rahman rocks Lewis

Hasim Rahman spent a month in South Africa, training at high altitude, ahead of his heavyweight world title fight with Lennox Lewis in Gauteng. In contrast, reigning champion Lewis was there only half as long, instead training in Las Vegas so he could film scenes for a cameo appearance in Ocean's Eleven.

Like Tyson before him, Lewis would pay a heavy price for his apparent over-confidence, as Rahman secured a spectacular knockout victory in the fifth round.

A subsequent rematch saw Rahman beaten in four, with a fiercely focused Lewis earning redemption.


March 8, 2003: Sanders dethrones Klitschko

Corrie Sanders was not expected to trouble WBO champion Wladimir Klitschko on German soil, yet the South African sensationally tore up the script.

Sanders caught the great Klitschko with a left hand late in the first round and knocked him to the canvas another three times in the brief but dramatic bout.

There were boos from an expectant crowd when Klitschko was stopped early in the second, with Sanders having only fought three rounds since being knocked out by Rahman in 2000.


June 1, 2019: Ruiz stuns Joshua

A late replacement, Ruiz shattered Anthony Joshua's American dream - and in the famous boxing venue of Madison Square Garden, too.

The portly California-born 29-year-old lived up to his nickname of 'The Destroyer', picked himself up off the canvas after being floored by Joshua to put the champion down twice before the end of an eventful third round.

Joshua gathered himself and kept on fighting, but Ruiz knocked him down twice early in the seventh before referee Mike Griffin stopped the fight with the Englishman back on his feet but looking shell-shocked.

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