Ruiz win over Joshua didn't surprise Parker
Few people were expecting Andy Ruiz Jr.’s knockout win over Anthony Joshua to take the W.B.A., W.B.O. and I.B.O. heavyweight titles last weekend.
Lupesoliai Joseph Parker was among them, having said leading up to the fight that people shouldn’t underestimate Ruiz.
He was right.
The 27-year-old former W.B.O. heavyweight champion, Lupesoliai, who won that title after defeating Ruiz in 2016, was in the Madison Square Garden crowd for the fight, having announced his new deal with Matchroom Boxing at a press conference in New York earlier in the week.
Lupesoliai told the Samoa Observer although many have since described Ruiz’s victory as an all-time sporting upset, he doesn’t see it that way because he knew Ruiz was a good fighter.
“It was a surprise to a lot of people," he said.
“I didn’t expect it to finish like that, but I knew Ruiz presented a lot of skill and a lot of power.”
He said boxing is one of those sports where one punch changes everything.
“That good left hook that Andy Ruiz caught him with, after [Ruiz] got dropped, changed the whole course of the fight.”
It was Lupesoliai’s first time at Madison Square Garden, one of boxing’s most storied arenas.
“I was very excited to attend the fight here, but the goal is to hopefully get the opportunity to fight here one day,” he said.
“It’s one of those stadiums where there’s a lot of history, and a lot of great fighters have fought in that stadium.
“Hopefully one day, we’ve just gotta keep building towards that goal.”
With a Ruiz/Joshua matchup coming towards the end of the year, Lupesoliai said he is still in the rebuilding phase of his career.
“I’d love to take any of the champions if they called me up and said hey we have a fight for you.
“But I think they’re all focused on other fights at the moment, so I have to rebuild.
“I think it’ll take maybe three or four fights before I’m back in the mix fighting those guys at the top.
“But if I get a call tomorrow, I’d take any of them.”
Lupesoliai’s next bout, and the first of his three-fight deal with Matchroom Boxing, will be on 29 June in Providence, Rhode Island against an unannounced opponent, widely speculated to be Eric Molina.