Every champion loses... eventu... wait, which champion we talkin' about?
June 4, 2019 7:14 AM   Subscribe

In these dark times, you have to take joy wherever you can find it.... This weekend, I found a new image that I will return to over and over again in times of crisis, whenever that picture of Nigel Farage covered in salted caramel milkshake just doesn’t hit the spot. It is my Mona Lisa. ... It’s this, a photo of Anthony Joshua, that impossible Herculean demigod, being laid on his arse by Andy Ruiz Jr, a man whose physique can only be described as “Peter Kay in those John Smith’s ads from the noughties”. [boxing]

Snickers-loving 25-1 underdog Andy Ruiz, who defeated dominant professional heavyweight champion and former Olympic champion Anthony Joshua over the weekend, is being hailed as a Dad Bod hero and divinely-inspired instrument of the Drake Curse.
posted by clawsoon (24 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Is this the James Holzhauer thread?
posted by I-Write-Essays at 7:34 AM on June 4, 2019 [3 favorites]

These Rocky movies keep getting more implausible, but I can't stop watching.
posted by nubs at 7:37 AM on June 4, 2019 [8 favorites]

“He just ruined 100 years of physical fitness”
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:39 AM on June 4, 2019 [3 favorites]

I had no idea there was a Drake curse but it makes sense because his music is kinda terrible
posted by numaner at 8:16 AM on June 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

The first Creed movie has a real boxer as the antagonist and his physique is very far from Michael B. Jordan. That's because boxers don't need to cut to look like muscly gods, they need to move fast and hit hard. They're not usually THAT dad bod though, I suppose.

wait, I see the post below. This is now my favorite Metafilter moment.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 8:35 AM on June 4, 2019 [2 favorites]

Very slow to un-ding. Joshua reminds me of Tommy Hearns in that regard. Ring his bell and it stays rung for a long, long time. Gets goofy too. I can't believe he made it through 22 pro fights without having his chin tested. And he definitely failed the Ruiz test...
posted by jim in austin at 9:10 AM on June 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

jim in austin: Very slow to un-ding. Joshua reminds me of Tommy Hearns in that regard. Ring his bell and it stays rung for a long, long time. Gets goofy too.

There are rumors that Joshua got knocked out in training, there are lots of people saying that he hasn't fought the same since Klitschko knocked him down, and apparently between rounds he was saying things like "What round is this?", "What punch did he get me with?", and "Why do I feel this way?"

In the post-fight interview in the ring I wasn't sure if Joshua was being media savvy by giving answers that had nothing to do with the questions or if he was still out of it and only able to manage his well-rehearsed sports-cliche answers.

It's hard to look at a physique that perfect and think that something is going wrong, but I wonder if CTE has started for him.
posted by clawsoon at 9:26 AM on June 4, 2019 [3 favorites]

It is such a strange world where on the one hand there is so much handwringing about youth football ball and concussion while on the other such excited commentary about boxing. Not judging, just feeling a little bit of the absurd.
posted by Pembquist at 9:33 AM on June 4, 2019 [7 favorites]

I saw an interview with Ruiz where he said that he was always angling for a fight with Joshua rather than Wilder or Fury, because he saw weaknesses in Joshua's style that he could take advantage of.
posted by clawsoon at 9:51 AM on June 4, 2019

It's not fat, it's power.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 10:28 AM on June 4, 2019 [5 favorites]

Everyone who follows competitive powerlifting knows that it takes weight to move weight. If you want to get stronger, you get bigger. Most lifters "cut" to lose the fat they've picked up along with the muscle because they compete in a certain weight class where you want to maximize the proportion of muscle that makes up your bodyweight.

But the super-heavyweight class has no such restriction so the vast majority of those athletes carry a big, round "power belly" and just a lot of extra fat in addition to the mountains of muscle under it. So they look a little flabby but can deadlift half a ton.

That's not a dad-bod, that guy is just built like a powerlifter and just has a little extra fat layered over his big slabs of muscle.

You wanna look shredded so you can show off your abs? Eat less, WAY less. You want to get bigger and stronger? Eat a little more, move heavy things.
posted by VTX at 11:30 AM on June 4, 2019 [4 favorites]

That's a somewhat odd stance to bring in to this discussion, at least as far as the framing of this post goes - notably, Joshua was the absolute favorite to win, is British, and only started pursuing boxing at 18.

Not to discount the bigger problems with sports, race, and different paths to wealth, but in this particular case, the underdog was Ruiz, and it's weird to try to make his victory a victory *for* racism, not one that's created the first Mexican-American "unified WBA (Super), WBO, IBO, and IBF heavyweight champion".
posted by sagc at 12:49 PM on June 4, 2019 [2 favorites]

i've only ever watched boxing in group gatherings or when it's newsworthy like this one, so my understanding of it is minuscule, and I hope someone with better knowledge can shed some light: how does Ruiz' style take advantage of Joshua's style's weaknesses? From what i can see it seems like if Ruiz can get past Joshua's long reach, he can get close and get in some quick hits that Joshua can't block or dodge fast enough. Is it sort of like a swordsman getting past a spear's reach and is then more effective against a spear user (spearsman?)
posted by numaner at 1:10 PM on June 4, 2019

Mod note: A few comments deleted; if you don't want to read about this/boxing, that's fine, but please don't insist the thread be about that. I added a note to the post so people will know before clicking that it's boxing, if they want to avoid that.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 1:35 PM on June 4, 2019

I'm no expert, numaner, but as I understand it the classic way for a taller boxer to dominate a shorter boxer is the way that Emanuel Steward trained boxers like Lennox Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko to beat a long line of shorter boxers: Lots of jabs to keep the shorter boxer on the outside; clinch immediately if they ever get close. Anthony Joshua so far hasn't had to do this, since his reflexes, combinations and power have so far been enough to punish shorter fighters who tried to fight on the inside with him. Not many people have the ability to punch back in the split second after being hit with an Anthony Joshua combination; Andy Ruiz did.

Lennox Lewis, as it happens, is suggesting that Anthony Joshua should get a different trainer:
McCracken [Joshua's current trainer] 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.
posted by clawsoon at 1:57 PM on June 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

I don’t know much about the physics of boxing, nor boxers physiology, but as a POC in 2019, that picture has unfortunate implications to me.
posted by Faintdreams at 4:19 PM on June 4, 2019

In what sense?

(After the deleted comments earlier, I'm still not sure whether people are concerned about the optics of the image-as-an-image, with literally no reference to the actual event, or if the event itself is what people are concerned about.)
posted by sagc at 4:34 PM on June 4, 2019

Here’s the list of heavyweight boxing champions since 1885. Things have gotten kinda chaotic in the last couple of decades, Klitschkos excepted.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:12 PM on June 4, 2019

numaner: how does Ruiz' style take advantage of Joshua's style's weaknesses?

I'm still digging into this, because I want to know, too. The best I've found so far: Here is a video from a month ago in which a random guy on Youtube makes fun of Ruiz's claim that he will beat Joshua with, among other things, head movement. Playing in the background is an amateur fight from 2011 in which Joshua had a lot of trouble with a boxer who had good head movement. The Youtuber says that Joshua has matured a lot as a fighter since then, and he predicts that Ruiz's head movement will go out the window as soon as he gets hit hard by Joshua.

Compare that with the official highlights. At 0:40 (of the video, not the round), Ruiz is knocked down. At 0:58, he's hit with another huge punch. At 1:04, Ruiz executes perfect head movement to dodge a Joshua punch, then delivers a knockdown of his own.

After that, Ruiz didn't get out of the way as much; it was more that Joshua and Ruiz traded punches and Ruiz wasn't hurt as much by Joshua's punches as Joshua was hurt by Ruiz's. The trainer of Joseph Parker - the only fighter to face both Ruiz and Joshua - said second-hand before the fight that Ruiz punches harder than Joshua. He also mentioned that Ruiz had excellent head movement.
posted by clawsoon at 6:08 PM on June 4, 2019 [2 favorites]

Faintdreams: I don’t know much about the physics of boxing, nor boxers physiology, but as a POC in 2019, that picture has unfortunate implications to me.

On second look, I see what you mean. For boxing fans, the first thing that comes to mind is the classic photo of Ali towering over Liston, and the characters involved are like... hmm... imagine if tennis fans had been waiting for years for a definitive clash between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, and then a happy-go-lucky Snickers Dad schlub defeated Federer and threw everyone's plans and expectations into disarray.

Still, though, I see what you mean. If the picture makes you think of, say, George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin, or Spanish conquistadors and African slaves, it would be an ugly and unfortunate picture.
posted by clawsoon at 4:05 AM on June 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

the noughties

stop that. stop it now.
posted by thelonius at 4:53 AM on June 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

Fast hands win fights. There is a reason boxing is sometimes called the sweet science.
posted by vrakatar at 6:15 PM on June 5, 2019

Another decent video from 2016 on Anthony Joshua's potential weaknesses as a boxer, some of which became relevant in this fight.
posted by clawsoon at 5:43 AM on June 6, 2019

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