A calm and calculated Nigeria-born British boxer Anthony Joshua jabbed his way into reckoning and regaining the world heavyweight titles after securing unanimous decision over American Andy Ruiz at Diriyah Arena, Saudi Arabia.
Joshua kept his cool for the 12 rounds to secure winning points from three judges; 118-110, 118-110 and 119-109.
The rematch started with great caution from both fighters with Joshua keeping his opponent at a distance, controlling the centre of the ring. The Nigerian born landed the first significant blow of the night – a right to Ruiz’s temple leaving the American with a cut in the left eye.
Joshua continued to focus on the cut and it reopened early in the second round. Ruiz however used his head to cut Joshua in the second.
Joshua had landed 18 punches to Ruiz’s nine by the third round and firmly in control. Joshua got a hook to Ruiz’s body at the end of the round and followed up the same course in the next two rounds. The extra 15lbs seemed to slow down the Mexican-born significantly allowing fleet footed and lighter Joshua to get in close and deliver blows to his body.
By the seventh round, it was evident that Ruiz would need a KO to retain his title. The Briton has remained calm and disciplined. Ruiz looked frustrated and became more aggressive landing a blow on the top of Joshua’s head, but Joshua shrugged it off.
Joshua continued to dance in and out. He landed two good blows and danced out again before Ruiz could counter.
The tenth, 11th and last round went without any fanfare with Joshua holding on to secure unanimous decision from the three judges.
Joshua is expected to earn upward $50m for the Saudi Arabia rematch while Ruiz walked away with $9m.
Speaking shortly after, Joshua said: “First of all, I want to thank God. I want to say, man, the first time was so nice, I had to do it twice. A man like me don’t make no excuses, I’m used to knocking out guys. I said to myself I was going to correct myself. The sweet science of this sport is hitting and not getting caught. I’m hungry and I’m humble. Thank you to Andrew Ruiz and his family.”