Monday, March 27, 2023  |


Heavyweight champions react to Joshua-Ruiz on Twitter

Photo by Mark Robinson

Anthony Joshua’s upset loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. this past weekend caused a seismic shift in the heavyweight division, compelling nearly all of the major heavyweights of today and and yesteryear to chime in on Twitter.

Lennox Lewis, who like Joshua is a former heavyweight champ from the U.K., shared the same shocked reaction as most observers, tweeting out “I don’t even know what to say right now!” once the fight was waived off in round seven.

“I hear a lot of criticism about AJ losing to a fat guy. What many don’t realize is that @Andy_destroyer1 has an EXTENSIVE and incredible amateur pedigree. He still has hands & experience. He’s seen it all and it serves him well in the pros despite his weight,” tweeted Lewis.

Lewis pointed out that big muscles aren’t always the best body type to win long fights at heavyweight.

“These post modern HW’s have incredible size and mass. In a fight those muscles need oxygen and it takes them longer to recover after expending lots of energy. Bigger isn’t always better,” Lewis tweeted.

Lewis drew parallels with his own career, when he was knocked out twice, only to avenge those defeats. Lewis had to switch trainers to Emanuel Steward in order to be the best version of himself, and suggested that Joshua may benefit from having someone other than Robert McCracken, who became his official head trainer in 2016.

“McCracken is A1 without question… but maybe not the fit for the style AJ needs to fight. I switched to Manny Steward who understood how to leverage ALL of my physical attributes & skills and showed me everything i needed to know for success,” tweeted Lewis.

George Foreman, a two-time heavyweight champion who knows about winning heavyweight upsets and losing them, applauded the sportsmanship showed by both following the fight.

“Once again The British displays “Civilization” Win, lose or draw we are still Humans. Wished I’d been big enough to embrace Ali, after he KOd me. Cheers AJ,” tweeted Foreman, who picked Joshua to comeback and win the rematch.

Foreman offered his own perspective on losing the heavyweight championship, which he famously did to Muhammad Ali in 1974: “As they say ‘don’t believe the hype’ Take anyone for granted and you lose. You walk around in a daze. Not cause you lose, but cause you believed all the print.”

Almost immediately following the fight, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, the two other heavyweights with claims to the heavyweight championship today, offered their thoughts, with conflicting tones.

“He wasn’t a true champion. His whole career was consisted of lies, contradictions and gifts. Facts and now we know who was running from who!!!! #TilThisDay,” tweeted Wilder, who had been in on-again, off-again negotiations for a mega-fight with Joshua, which appears to be gone with the wind after the loss.

He later tweeted: “The worst thing you can do in life is Fucking Quit!!”

Wilder, who, like Ruiz, is handled by Premier Boxing Champions, also congratulated Ruiz on the big upset win: “A huge congratulations to you @Andy_destroyer1 for your upset win last night. You’ve been blessed to come out of the struggle and to become the 1st Mexican Heavyweight Champion Ever! Wow, that’s amazing and I’m wishing you many more blessings to come.”

Wilder’s tone on Twitter caused Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn to remark at the post-fight press conference: “Deontay Wilder has zero class for kicking Joshua while he is down.”

Fury, who also hails from England, was more conciliatory towards Joshua.

“We have our back and Forth’s but @anthonyfjoshua changed his stars through life. heavyweight boxing, these things happen, rest up, recover, regroup and come again,” tweeted Fury.

Wladimir Klitschko, a former opponent of Joshua, offered congratulations to Ruiz, and encouragement for Joshua.

“Champs on a personal, corporate, or governmental level have gone through defeats and bounced back, and became even stronger! History repeats @anthonyfjoshua and defeat builds character. Congrats to the new, and 1st Mexican/American, Heavyweight champion @Andy_destroyer13,” tweeted Klitschko.

Frank Bruno, the former WBC heavyweight titleholder from England, took note of one exchange Joshua had with McCracken after round six, which he feels indicates something was wrong with Joshua during the fight.

“Not sure if it’s just me but @anthonyfjoshua said in one of the rounds ‘why am I feeling like this?’ He didn’t seem right from the start, I wonder if there’s more to this?,” tweeted Bruno.

“I’ve got to say what a tough man Ruiz is. The man deserves the credit, totally underestimated. I’m very sad for @anthonyfjoshua he’s got a big heart, he’ll learn by this and he’ll be back,” added Bruno.