Anthony Joshua has reclaimed his crown as world heavyweight champion after beating Andy Ruiz Jr. in Saudi Arabia.
Joshua bounced back from a shock defeat in New York earlier this year after winning a rematch against Ruiz at the Diriyah Arena.
The pair went toe-to-toe for the full 12 rounds, with 30-year-old Joshua clinching the win thanks to the judge’s scorecards. Saturday’s victory at the Diriyah Arena tallies Joshua’s 23rd win out of 24 fights.
Joshua weighed in at 11 pounds lighter than the first bout, which he used to his advantage. He used quick feet in the ring to evade trouble and ultimately outbox Ruiz.
Judges’ decisions at the end of the 12 rounds scored 118-110, 118-110 and 119-109 in the Briton’s favour.
The first bout took place in April, which saw Ruiz stun fans and professionals by walking away victorious in Madison Square Garden through TKO.
In a humiliating outcome for Joshua, the referee waved the fight off in the seventh round. Ruiz punched a gold fist into the air.
‘The Destroyer’ ended AJ’s undefeated record and became the new holder of the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles. Ruiz’s New York success saw him become Mexico’s first world champion in the division.
Former super middleweight champion Andre Ward praised Joshua for “mentally bouncing back” and “fighting a controlled and disciplined fight”.
The ‘Son of God’ continued on Twitter: “The curse of the 15lb weight gain continues”, likening Ruiz’s loss in the ring to that of James Buster Douglas against Evander Holyfield.
The Saudi rematch marks Ruiz’s second loss in his career, winning 33 of his 35 total bouts.
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