The Question of Revenge or Repeat was answered resoundingly on Saturday night, Anthony Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) regaining the WBA, IBF, and WBO heavyweight titles by outscoring Andy Ruiz Jr (33-2, 22 KOs) at the Diriyah Arena in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.
Joshua came into the bout lighter than previous in an obvious tactic to box and move which is exactly the gameplay that played out. The Englishman cut Ruiz over his left eye in the headlines opener with a right hand. The confidence that was lacking from their first encounter had returned.
Ruiz was able to land a hard shot in the second which left Joshua with a cut but the now two-time champion was able to regain his composure to keep Ruiz on the end of an impressive jab.
Ruiz in truth was poor in his approach, able to back up Joshua in a couple of rounds but not enough to win on the scorecards as the judges rendered their scores of 118-110, 118-110, 119-109.
“First of all, I want to thank God. I want to say, man, the first time was so nice that I had to do it twice.
“A man like me doesn’t make any excuses. This is about boxing – I’m used to knocking guys out.
“I realised last time, I hurt him. But I got caught. I respect Andy and his family, his trainer so much. I wanted to put on a boxing masterclass.
“It’s about hitting and not getting hit. It’s not a chance of mentality – stay hungry, stay humble. Thank you Andy, thank you everyone in Saudi Arabia and all the travelling fans.”
“It’s all about preparations. Careers are all about experience, I took my L and moved on. What did you want me to do? Give up?”