Joshua defeats Ruiz, reclaims world titles

By Te Ao - Māori News

Anthony Joshua has gained revenge for his shock defeat at the hands of Andy Ruiz Jr. this morning in Saudi Arabia, beating the Mexican-American over 12 rounds.

The win means that the British champions takes back the WBA, WBO and IBF belts that he lost in June at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Joshua used his considerable height advantage to execute a smart fight plan, keeping Ruiz within range of his powerful jab and constantly circling out of trouble. Joshua held Ruiz strategically at times and responded well anytime his opponent did land clean power shots.

In fact, it was Joshua that did the most damage early, opening up a significant cut on the side of Ruiz’s eye in just the first round. Ruiz did open up Joshua in the very next round but both men shook off the blood and battled on for the distance.

It all added up to a convincing score card from the judges, of 118-110 (twice) and 119-109 in favour of Joshua.

Much had been made of Ruiz’s weight gain pre-fight, he came in at 123 kgs, which was significantly heavier than their pair’s fight in June. In contrast, Joshua came in around five kilograms lighter.

However, conditioning was not a factor overall given the fight went 12 rounds, and Joshua certainly deserved the victory on boxing prowess alone.

"I gave him his credit in the first fight,” Joshua said in the ring after the fight. 

“There is no excuses. I respect Andy and his trainer so much but I wanted to put on a great master class and show that the sweet science of this sport is about hitting and not getting hit.

"As I always say, I'm not perfect but I'm trying. Never a change in mentality. You know the saying, 'stay hungry, stay humble'. I'm hungry, I'm humble in defeat and I'm going to remain humble in victory."

As usual, it all means that predictions are being made about what happens next and if Joshua is in line for a much-anticipated showdown with Deontay Wilder at some stage in the future. That is unlikely to be soon as the American champion will be after a rematch with Tyson Fury first, so boxing fans will once again have to wait for what will be one of the biggest bouts in the history of heavyweight boxing.