An Awesome Arabian Night: Joshua beats Ruiz to reclaim world title
Anthony Joshua became a two-time world heavyweight champion with a unanimous points victory over Andy Ruiz Jr in a tense rematch in Saudi Arabia.
The boxing world finally witnessed the much anticipated epic battle of the fist between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr. Thousands gathered in Saudi Arabia on the 7th of December to witness a great fight and Joshua ensured the headlines were his with a masterful performance that culminated in his victory.
Six months on from the night Ruiz stunned boxing, Joshua risked seeing his career left in tatters with a second defeat, but served up 36 minutes of movement and well-timed punching to take the IBF, WBA and WBO titles back to Britain.
After cutting his Mexican rival inside the first round he never looked back and picked out smart jabs and right hands throughout before being serenaded with chants of “AJ, AJ, AJ” by 14,000 or so fans in the Diriyah Arena.
Joshua now joins a small cluster of men including Muhammad Ali, Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson and Floyd Patterson to have reclaimed the world heavyweight title.
Ruiz, the bookmakers’ underdog again, was cut above his left eye in the first. He landed two jabs of his own in the second but took a left hook as Joshua moved with the lightness of a man at his lowest weight in five years.
The following rounds were intense as Ruiz showed flashes of the class that made him champion six months ago, however, the taller Anthony Joshua outclassed the Mexican with his technicality and tact.
In the final round Ruiz beat his chest beckoning Joshua to a challenge but the Nigerian born boxer was already the obvious victor and when the final bell sounded it was Anthony Joshua this time who jumped up and down in undisputed triumph.
It was an epic tale in Saudi Arabia in which one master of the Arabian boxing arena and world champion would emerge, on an Arabian night. And it was Anthony Joshua who emerged champion. The IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO tittles returned to him.