Kellerman: Ruiz’s upset not a problem for boxing

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Max Kellerman of ESPN discusses the Andy Ruiz Jr upset of Anthony Joshua.

The Andy Ruiz Jr upset of Anthony Joshua is a rare story that goes beyond boxing and into mainstream sports coverage for real, so of course they talked about it on ESPN’s First Take, after Stephen A. Smith spent the weekend making himself look like a pissy boxing forum member and revealed himself completely ignorant of Andy Ruiz Jr’s existence or career prior to Saturday.

Anyway, Max Kellerman: Boxing Guy, talked about the fight and how the upset happened, and Max had his good points, as he usually does.

“If you get a guy with a deep amateur background, the muscle memory, if he’s been boxing since he’s a kid, is different than a guy who picked up the sport when he was 18 like Anthony Joshua — or, by the way, when he was 20 like Deontay Wilder,” Kellerman said.

“I’ve seen this in boxing often. A big, good athlete hurts the boxer, hurts the guy with the deep background, with the boxing muscle memory. Then he gets into an exchange with him, but in the exchange, the guy with the muscle memory who’s been doing it since he was a little kid, the punches come in more to the point, easier, with less thought behind it, it’s automatic.

“That’s what happened. Joshua the athlete knocked Andy Ruiz down with a giant left hook, hit Ruiz, hurt him again, hurt him again, but Ruiz has a championship mettle, fired back, and in those exchanges, the guy with the deeper background, with the muscle memory won.”

And since it’s ESPN, Kellerman made sure to work in some praise of Tyson Fury the Lineal Champion.

“It’s instructive, because when you look at this heavyweight division, the two top names — Joshua and Wilder — both of them with (Olympic) medals, both of them with shallow amateur backgrounds. You know who has a deep amateur background, who’s been boxing since he was a kid? Tyson Fury, and he’s the lineal champ,” Kellerman added.

But Kellerman got back to the point in his final statement here, saying, “Andy Ruiz just showed the division is more wide open than people realize, it’s even better than people realize, and when you get upsets like this, it’s not a problem. We now have a new, colorful character who can really fight in Andy Ruiz.”

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