By Scoop Malinowski
Now that the so-called biggest upset in boxing history has been accomplished by American Andy Ruiz via his seventh-round TKO of Anthony Joshua at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, all kinds of theories and speculations for the shock win are emerging.
Gennady Golovkin and Dillian Whyte publicly expressed suspicions this week that the former Heavyweight champion Joshua may have been beaten by Ruiz because he was unable to use performance-enhancing drugs in his American debut because of different, more strict testing procedures than the muscular Brit encountered in Great Britain.
“You can look at various elements, various links, so to speak, in this chain,” former Middleweight champion Golovkin said, via his translator, before a press conference for his own fight Saturday night at The Garden. “First of all, it was his first fight in the United States. It was his first fight at Madison Square Garden, first fight with different doping-test procedures. It will probably be a big lesson, an important lesson for Joshua to learn. And also, I know Andy Ruiz. I trained together with him. So, I’m not surprised about this outcome of this fight.”
The gargantuan 6-foot-6, 245-pound Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) lost his first pro fight to the 25-1 underdog Ruiz (33-1, 22 KOs). Joshua floored Ruiz in the third round but the tenacious American got up and returned the favor, dropping Joshua four times, twice in the third and twice again in the fateful seventh stanza.
“It’s difficult to say what exactly happened because I was not part of the Joshua team,” Golovkin continued. “What I can say is he looked terrible in this last fight, Joshua did. Looking [at it] impartially and objectively, Joshua was terrible. It was his terrible day. Ruiz was great. It was his great day. That’s how you can judge this.”
The World Boxing Council number one contender Dillian Whyte was a bit more aggressive and blunt with his criticisms of Joshua.
“Joshua could be heard on camera asking his trainer Rob McCracken, ‘Why do I feel like this?’ after the sixth round,’ Whyte said in an interview. “It is because you’re in America with the VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency) testing and you’re not on the juice, that’s why. It’s harder to get therapeutic use exemptions in America than the UK, that’s why.”
Therapeutic use exemptions are special permissions by doctors for an athlete to use an illegal substance or performance enhancing drug and are widely used in professional tennis and other sports. Critics of the controversial practice of TUEs suspect it is a specially designed loophole for elite professional athletes to legally obtain and use illegal performance enhancing drugs for their competitions.
Joshua has been suspected and accused of taking advantage of the therapeutic use exemption to use PEDs in the past but nothing has ever been proven and he or his team have yet to address the allegations.
Golovkin and Whyte’s allegations against Joshua may or may not be accurate. It will be interesting to see in the coming days and weeks if Joshua will reveal his history of using or taking advantage of the therapeutic use exemption clause in his career. Or if he will outright deny ever requesting the therapeutic use exemption for usage of any illegal drugs or performance enhancing drugs.
But if Joshua has used PEDs via the therapeutic use exemption, as Whyte asserts, it will be interesting to learn his explanation for which drugs or substances he requested to use and for what reasons. All this information should be on the public record.