American boxing promoter Bob Arum this week is involved in the promotion of perhaps one of the biggest heavyweight fights to take place in Las Vegas for some time.
Although no title is on the line per se, Tyson Fury vs Tom Schwarz on Saturday at the MGM Grand still represents the most significant heavyweight bout the fight capital of the world has had for many a year.
Arum now handles the promotion of Fury’s fights in the US which are shown live on the world’s biggest sports network – ESPN.
Coming into the fight, perhaps one of the biggest stories around the fight surrounds another bout that took place recently which shook the boxing world to its very core.
That was of course Andy Ruiz Jr knocking out Anthony Joshua to become the new heavyweight champion of the world.
He now holds three of the four belts (WBO, IBF and WBA) as a result.
Many have given credit to Ruiz following the victory but good old Bob seems to be more intent on drawing attention to what, in his perception, was a less than impressive Joshua.
Bob Arum Gives Controversial Take
Speaking to IFL TV Arum said:
“The Joshua I saw on June 1st in Madison Square Garden was an imposter. It wasn’t Joshua. It was somebody else. From what he was acting like before the fight. How he carried himself in the fight. That was not Anthony Joshua. I don’t wan’t to take anything away from Andy Ruiz. But the way I look at it, he didn’t beat Joshua. He beat somebody else. I can’t lie about that. I mean you saw Joshua before. That wasn’t Joshua!”
He later added:
“This was different. This was a guy (Joshua) that got knocked down four times by Andy Ruiz who hasn’t the ability to knock down ham and egg guys.”
Interesting use of the phrase ‘ham and egg’ there.
On a more serious note however, you have to give full props to Andy Ruiz for what he achieved at the end of the day.
He became Mexico’s first ever heavyweight champion of the world.
That can never be taken away from him.
Nor can it be down played, diminished or belittled in any way, shape or form.
If a rematch with Joshua is made later this year he’ll go into the bout full of confidence that the same thing will happen again.
No doubt about that.
Since the fight there’s been a lot of rumors that have come out after the fact.
As is always the case really. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
One such report is that Joshua got dropped in sparring before the bout.
This has since been dismissed by his promoter Eddie Hearn.
Joshua for his part has given full credit to new champion Ruiz.
Joshua vs Ruiz Full Fight
He’s made no excuses.
The better man won in the vast majority of the boxing world’s eyes.
In fact, Joshua is getting a lot of respect for his reaction to the loss.
For those that didn’t see the fight — here it is in its entirety courtesy of Sky Sports YouTube (hat tip):