Anthony Joshua entered Saturday night as a massive favorite over Andy Ruiz Jr. to retain his WBA, WBO, IBO, and IBF heavyweight titles at Madison Square Garden.
It was the undefeated heavyweight champ’s first fight stateside, as all his previous title bouts have been fought in his native England, and after his initial opponent, Jarrell Miller, was taken out of the fight due to failed drug tests, few gave his replacement Ruiz much of any chance. And then, the impossible happened.
After going down early in the third round, Ruiz responded quickly by putting Joshua on his back in that same round, and would later produce a spectacular knockdown in the seventh round that put the champ in real danger. Shortly after, he finished the job as the referee stopped the fight after Joshua went to a knee once again and slowly strolled to his corner, creating one of the greatest boxing upsets in recent memory.
Joshua had become a superstar in recent years, particularly after his win over Wladimir Klitschko to collect the IBO and WBA belts in 2017. That means making friends with fellow celebrities, and back in March he posted a picture of himself and Drake with what is now a very unfortunate caption of “Bout to break the curse ? #June1st.”
We should’ve seen this coming. Not only did he risk his titles by associating with Drake but he even acknowledged the Drake curse and promised to break it, putting all the wrong cosmic energy on this fight.
Joshua was humble in defeat after the fight and will surely be back in the title picture soon, but he’s now learned the true power of the Drake curse and should no longer tempt fate by taunting it.