Tagged in: Anthony Joshua

Anthony Joshua wins rematch by unanimous decision

Britain’s Anthony Joshua defeated Andy Ruiz Jr on a unanimous points decision in Saudi Arabia on Saturday to seize back the heavyweight world championship belts he lost to his Mexican-American opponent in a shock upset last June.

The Clash on the Dunes in Diriyah was for the IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO titles and Joshua dictated the pace from the beginning with a measured approach that showed he had learned from the mistakes of the past.

Going into the 12th and final round, Ruiz needed a knockout to pull off another upset but it never came.

The judges scored the fight 118-110, 118-110 and 119-109 to the 30-year-old Briton.

“It was his night, man,” said Ruiz as his six-month reign came to an end, calling also for a third encounter that Joshua seemed to welcome. “If you heard, we’re going to do it a third,” said the taller and more athletic Briton.

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California-based Ruiz had stopped the previously undefeated champion in the seventh round at New York’s Madison Square Garden last June.

Joshua described that shock defeat, to a flabby-looking opponent drafted in as a late replacement, as no more than a ‘minor setback’ and he was happy to make light of it again in victory.

“Man, the first time was so nice, I had to do it twice,” he told the crowd.

“I’m used to knocking guys out but last time I realised ‘hang on a minute, I hurt the man and I got caught coming in’.

“I gave the man his credit. I said to myself I’m going to correct myself and come again.” Another loss in the early hours of Satuday would have sent the 2012 Olympic super-heavyweight champion’s career into freefall, with some saying already after the last fight that the Briton was finished.

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Andy Ruiz vs Anthony Joshua rematch preview

Three of the four recognized heavyweight titles will be at stake on Saturday when Andy Ruiz Jr. looks for a second straight upset of former unified champion Anthony Joshua.

Eight months after Ruiz’s epic knockout at New York’s Madison Square Garden in Joshua’s U.S. debut, the stage shifts to Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, and the makeshift outdoor Diriyah Arena as the British superstar looks to regain his WBA, IBF and WBO titles.

The 30-year-old Ruiz (33-1, 22 KOs), a native of California, became the first heavyweight champion in boxing history of Mexican descent when he floored Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs), 30, three times en route to a seventh-round TKO in April.

“I’m confident about the rematch, but I don’t underestimate any fighter. I know AJ’s going to come stronger and more focused but inside the gym, like Mike Tyson says, everyone has a plan until they get hit.”

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“I’m sure everybody was trying to look for an excuse and reason why he didn’t perform and why he lost. I think it was down to the style. Styles make fights and I’ve been calling AJ out for a while. I knew his style was perfect for me and that’s why I plan to do the same thing.” Stated Ruiz.

“It’s about how you come back. I have a different challenge in my head. When you’ve walked the road once, you can do it again.”​ 

“I am looking at myself in the mirror and saying I know I’m better than that [losing last time round]. Andy is still the same person. He will come game and I’ve got to change some of my bits and bobs.”​ Stated Joshua when asked about fighting Ruiz for the second time.

Both boxers’ game plans could be significantly different for the rematch, though, Ruiz said. And despite his increased prominence in the boxing world as a result of his victory, Ruiz said he hasn’t lost his fire.

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