Andy Ruiz Jr grabbed his chance to rewrite boxing history all because of a message to Eddie Hearn on Instagram.
The newly-crowned world heavyweight champion sent the note to promoter Hearn begging to be named as Anthony Joshua’s opponent in New York.
Joshua’s team needed a replacement for Jarrell Miller, who was originally due to face the Brit at Madison Square Garden before failing a series of doping tests.
And while Hearn searched for a name that would help put Joshua on the map in his first fight in the US, all it took for Ruiz was a simple message to get the shot.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s (AEST) fight, Hearn revealed that Ruiz promised to produce a tougher test than anyone else – a vow he stuck to after eventually stopping Joshua in the seventh round.
Hearn said: “Once the three positive drugs tests came in, we searched for a new opponent.
“I wasn’t under any instructions, it was a case of whoever you want.
“Someone sent me a direct message on Instagram: ‘I’m fighting Saturday. Give me this fight, I will fight harder than any of the names you’ve mentioned, I will give you a better fight and I will beat Anthony Joshua’.
“OK, that got my attention. We had a look, we saw him deal with and stop Alexander Dimitrenko on Fox and the discussions continued.
“I’ve found a man who had a burning desire to create history, to create a legacy, and become the first ever Mexican world heavyweight champion.”
Hearn could be forgiven for regretting his decision to respond to Ruiz’s speculative message after the chubby Mexican caused one of the biggest upsets in boxing to stop Joshua.
The Brit looked miles off the pace as he lost his four heavyweight belts in the first defeat of his professional career.
Hearn confirmed after the fight that negotiations for a rematch would start immediately – presumably not via Instagram this time.