Anthony Joshua is Adonis-like. He's 6-foot-6 and a chiseled 250 pounds.
The British heavyweight boxer looked very much the part of undefeated heavyweight champion of the world when he entered the ring last weekend
Andy Ruiz, Jr.? Not so much.
Andy is 6-foot-2 and looks every bit of his 268 pounds. He ain't chiseled ... he's flabby.
When the two collided Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, Ruiz was an 11-1 underdog. The only reason the odds weren't worse? A certain upset in 1990 when the underdog (Buster Douglas) knocked off a 42-1 favorite (Mike Tyson). Since then, oddsmakers have been a little more realistic.
There are two very important rules when it comes to the heavyweight division:
No. 1, anything can happen. These are big guys with big punches. One crisp right cross or stinging left hook can change the course of history.
And, No. 2, you cannot judge a book by its cover.
Ruiz is case in point.
Although he was at a reach disadvantage and looked like he would be horribly undertrained, Ruiz proved to be a slick boxer who was able to close the distance as Joshua failed to control the fight with his left jab.
Then, in the third round, Ruiz got a wee bit too close and Joshua put the big guy on his butt with a left hook.
But instead of the knockdown signaling the beginning of the end for Ruiz, it was actually an opportunity. Ruiz knew if Joshua opened up, he could hurt him. So when Joshua rushed in for the kill, Ruiz delivered a big countering right to the defending champion's temple. Joshua went down, and the fight was effectively over.
Joshua hit the canvas again at the end of the third round and then wandered aimlessly about for the next three rounds, never seeming to regain his bearings.
In Round 7, Ruiz went on the offensive and ended the bout with a pair of knockdowns.
Adonis was beaten and the King of the Dad Bod was heavyweight champion of the world. The 29-year-old from Imperial, Calif., became the first fighter of Mexican descent to win a heavyweight championship.
Andy Ruiz is an easy guy to cheer for. He looks like any of us could look. He looks like a guy who enjoys dessert with his meal. He looks like he orders pizza on the weekends and watches the ballgames with his buddies.
"A lot of people can relate to me," Ruiz told the Washington Post. "It doesn't matter how you look. As long as you train hard, you focus and you're hungry, and that drive is in you to follow your dreams, everything is possible."
And his story is interesting. Yes, he was bullied as a child because of his weight. Yes, he's been overlooked as a contender throughout his boxing career because he's a little chunky.
But the guy isn't 34-1 for nothing. He had 120 amateur bouts and has beaten some decent heavyweights as a pro, including former titleist Sergei Liakhoivich and contender Kevin Johnson. His lone professional setback came in a championship fight against Joseph Parker, when he lost on points in a dull fight.
Ruiz got the opportunity last weekend when the fighter originally slated to oppose Joshua, Jarrell Miller, failed drug tests.
But instead of facing a tomato can as a replacement opponent, Joshua was across the ring with a man with skill.
Andy Ruiz moves well, he defends himself well and he's not the plodding marauder his body type might suggest. On the contrary, Ruiz's footwork is solid and his hands are deceptively quick.
Just ask Anthony Joshua.
Andy Ruiz is no Buster Douglas. Douglas, you might recall, was blown out by Evander Holyfield in the very next fight after he dethroned Tyson and was never heard from again.
Ruiz might not be the best heavyweight on the planet. He's no ironclad cinch to beat Joshua in a rematch ... or Deontay Wilder ... or Tyson Fury.
But one thing is for certain -- no one will overlook the chubby guy again. And I don't see him quickly disappearing from the heavyweight landscape. The big guy has staying power -- and I marvel to think of the fast food endorsements that await him.
JEFF NEAL is the editor of the Commonwealth Journal. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @jnealCJ.