Lights, Camera, Action!


Anthony Joshua puts on masterclass in Saudi Arabia, dominates Andy Ruiz in decision victory

Anthony Joshua (23-1-0, 21 KOs) returned to form in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia earlier today, dominating Andy Ruiz (33-2-0, 22 KOs) to win back the three heavyweight belts he stunningly lost just over six months ago in New York.

The concern from the weigh-ins was the heavy weight of Ruiz. He fought Joshua at 268 pounds in New York, but ballooned to 283.7 pounds this rematch. Joshua, who was 247.75 pounds in the first fight, came in lighter at 237.8 pounds.

Ruiz in the post-fight press conference admitted that the extra weight was a big factor as well as ‘distractions’ like partying in not being as aggressive as in the first fight. He was ‘less fluid,’ threw less combinations and fatigued earlier. Still, he was able to take Joshua’s best shots, but ultimately wasn’t in good enough condition to give them back. Partying and not taking the advice of his father were also factors.

Pre-fight ‘distractions’ like partying were also a factor for Ruiz.

Meanwhile, Joshua went back to basics with coach Rob McCracken. He used his height and distance to constantly jab the shorter Ruiz. He also refused to get drawn into going toe-to-toe, unlike the first fight.

There were few highlights for Ruiz, other than going the distance. His face was battered from the steady diet of Joshua jabs.  The ninth round was probably his best round, landing some big right hands that made Joshua back up.

The judges scored it 119-109, 118-110, and 118-110.

Asked if he would like to unify the heavyweight belt with WBC champion Deontay Wilder, Joshua in the post-fight press conference explained he will wait for the opportunity to present itself rather than chasing it, pointing to his performance today.

Ruiz, who took advantage of an overconfident Joshua in the first fight, struggled to explain why he failed to properly prepare for the rematch. He could only lament his mistakes and promise he will be better next time .

That’s boxing.


Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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