Ruiz punished the British champion, knocking him down four times in the first seven rounds, before the referee called a stop to the action with 1:27 left in the seventh.
Here’s the end of the fight:
It was the first loss of Joshua’s career and severely damaged hopes for an elusive super-fight between the Brit and American WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.
Joshua (22-1) sent Ruiz to the floor in the third round, but Ruiz answered back by flooring Joshua twice in the same round. After that, he took control of the fight, punishing the champ with hard shots that slowed Joshua’s output to a crawl.
Then, with the momentum on his side, Ruiz hammered Joshua with several hard shots in the seventh round, flooring him twice. After the second knockdown, Joshua walked to his corner and leaned on the ropes, as the official Mike Griffin called a halt to the action.
With the win, Ruiz has become the first heavyweight champion of Mexican descent. The 29-year-old is now 33-1 with his only loss coming against Joseph Parker via majority decision in 2016.
Here’s what Ruiz had to say after the fight:
With the victory, Ruiz now owns the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles.