The Joshua vs Ruiz rematch in Saudi Arabia – dubbed “Clash on the Dunes” – saw Anthony Joshua win back his WBA, WBO, IBF, IBO world heavyweight titles; with the scorecards reading 118-110, 118-110, 119-109 in AJ’s favor.
The British boxer who obviously had a lot more at stake after his shocking loss to Ruiz in Madison Square Garden, schooled Andy Ruiz in a beautiful boxing masterclass in front of a sold-out 15,000 crowd at the Diriyah Arena.
The brilliant performance from Anthony Joshua last night, reminded many about the great Wladimir Klitschko, as well as the undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr. AJ came in looking like he actually meant business, with a leaner appearance, looking visibly fully focused throughout the bout.
AJ set the tone for the fight from the beginning, leaving Ruiz bloodied from the very first round.
The 30-year old British boxer jabbed and moved his way to a unanimous decision victory to become a two-time champion, bringing about the end of Andy Ruiz’s reign as unified champion.
“The first time was so nice, I had to do it twice.” AJ commented excitingly after his win.
“Boxers will have good nights and bad nights in the heavyweight division,” he stated afterwards during the post-fight press conference. “All I can do is try my best, make my prayers, stay dedicated and just do it for myself. If I box for the crowd, or box for people’s opinions I might not have been victorious tonight. I boxed on my own game plan, trusted my own process and now I’m the champion. So I’m just going to follow my own instincts while I’m boxing.
“There were times I looked in Andy’s eyes and I wanted to put my fist through his head. But then I thought this is boxing, I need to win for myself and need to show people that this is the sweet science of the sport as well.
“I am used to knocking people out, but last time I got hurt so I gave the man his credit. I said I would correct myself again.
“It’s not like a script, it’s not wrestling, this is real life. And it’s dangerous, so I have to box to my game plan. My coaches devised a great strategy and I trusted in them and I followed it through.
“I can knock people out when I want to and I can box when I want to. Tonight was just about winning and trusting my process. I know that I could have done more at times, but sometimes simplicity is genius, and that was the motto. Keep it simple and it’s going to lead to a genius performance.” he added.
Andy Ruiz Jr. admitted he hadn’t trained well enough for the rematch and got “boxed around.” “The partying got the best of me… I didn’t prepare how I should have. I gained too much weight. I don’t want to give excuses, he won… If we do a third fight, you best believe I’m going to get in shape. I’ll be in the best shape of my life.” Ruiz Jr. stated.