Diriyah, Saudi Arabia– Anthony Joshua looked to get his revenge a few nights ago on Andy Ruiz Jr, who beat Joshua this June after a TKO in the 7th round.
Revenge was earned, as Joshua defeated Ruiz on points to regain his world heavyweight titles-unified WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO titles.
It was raining heavily in Diriyah for most of the night, and most of the fights before AJ vs ARJ were chaotic. But as Joshua entered the ring that night, the rain stopped, and so did the chaos. You could almost tell that something big was about to go down.
And something did. Joshua proved to the world that Ruiz was just another “one-hit wonder”, as well as proving himself as the best boxer in the world.
Joshua managed to land 107 punches out of the 373 he threw, good for 29%. Ruiz, however, only managed to land 23% punches, per CompuBox. Joshua won by unanimous decision, and if you watched the fight you could definitely tell Joshua was going to come away with the titles.
Steve Gray (Britain) scored it 119-109 in Joshua’s favor, and Glen Feldman (US) and Benoit Russell (Canada) agreed in scoring it 118-110.
A cheerful Joshua happily responded to questions after the match, saying, “Man, the first time was so nice — I had to do it twice. A man like me don’t make no excuses, my boy [heavyweight contender] Dereck Chisora said I could do this if I am ready to die. And look, this is about boxing. I am used to knocking guys out.”
One big difference between this fight and the one in June was the weight of the boxers. Ruiz gained 15 pounds, making himself the second heaviest title-defender, while Joshua lost 10 pounds, which went better with his strategy in the ring.
Ruiz acknowledged this in the post-match press conference.
“It was his night,” Ruiz said. “I don’t think I prepared as good as I should have. I gained too much weight but I don’t want to give no excuses. He won, he boxed me around but if we do the third, best believe I will come in the best shape of my life.”
There were suggestions on another rematch, but Joshua will first have to complete his mandatory title defense matches, against Kubrat Pulev and Oleksandr Usyk.
Whether or not there is a third fight between these two, it was a great night for international boxing. This fight was the first heavyweight world title fight to take place in the Middle East.
As boxing continues to grow throughout the world, Anthony Joshua will help lead the charge.
(Photo Credit: Al Jazeera)