Anthony Joshua has suffered a shock defeat in his heavyweight bout against unfancied Mexican fighter Andy Ruiz Jr in New York.
The Briton, 29, has lost all three of his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles after being stopped in the seventh round in front of a disbelieving crowd at Madison Square Garden.
He had spent much of rounds four to six recovering from what was possibly the most damaging round of his career in the third, during which he was knocked down twice.
Ruiz sent him to the deck two more times in the seventh round, and – despite returning to his feet – referee Mike Griffin stepped in to bring the clash to an end.
It was the first time Joshua had tasted defeat, leaving his underdog opponent to become the first ever Mexican-American heavyweight world champion.
“This is what I have been dreaming about and I cannot believe I made my dreams come true,” said Ruiz, who Joshua managed to knock down once in the third round.
“That was my first time getting dropped on the floor but it made me want it even more – and I just thank god. I have got that Mexican blood in me and that just proved it. Right now, I just want to celebrate. I made history for Mexico.”
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