Anthony Joshua has reclaimed his World Heavyweight titles after winning a grueling rematch against Andy Ruiz on Saturday night in Saudi Arabia.
The scores were 118-110, 118-110, 119-109 in favour of the Nigeria-born boxer who now has his WBO, WBA, IBF, IBO Heavyweight Titles back.
In the first bout, back in June, Ruiz came in as a late replacement and dropped Joshua four times to secure a seventh-round stoppage at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Though Joshua could not get a knockout win as he wished, he would be happy to have done enough to get his revenge and more importantly his titles back.
Joshua started Saturday’s fight on a bright note, cutting his Mexican opponent inside the first round. He grew into the enthralling bout as he maintained a high level of discipline to avoid lightning striking him the second time as it was the case in Las Vegas.
From that first round, Joshua never looked back and picked smart jabs and right hands throughout inside the largely-filled Diriyah Arena.
Joshua maintained his composure for the final two rounds to secure the biggest win of his career so far.
With the victory, Joshua has now improved his record to 8-1 in title fights and 23-1 (21KOs) overall.
“This is boxing. I’m used to knocking guys out. Last time I hurt the man and got caught coming in,” noted Joshua after the bout. “I made no excuses. I gave the man his respect.
He added: “But this is hit and don’t get hit. I took my L and bounced back. I’m a warrior. We don’t quit.”
As for Ruiz, his six months of glory have been halted and his record now falls to 33-2 (22KOs). Both of his career losses have come in title fights.
“I wasn’t prepared, I gained too much weight,” noted Ruiz. “But no excuses. I’m gonna get in better shape and I’m gonna f*cking prepare for the third fight,” the Mexican assured.