RIYADH: Anthony Joshua reclaimed his world heavyweight title belts after a points decision over Andy Ruiz Jr. in the Clash on the Dunes on Sunday morning in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.
The British boxer won by a unanimous decision from the judges after outboxing Ruiz Jr., especially in the later rounds.
In the first heavyweight title fight to be held in the Middle East, Joshua dominated a self-proclaimed "overweight" Ruiz Jr. over 12 solid, but largely uninspiring, rounds to win back the WBA, WBO and IBF belts, and avengeget revenge for his shock upset by his Mexican-American opponent six months ago in New York.
“Sometimes simplicity is genius. I was outclassing the champion,” Joshua said.
“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.
“I just wanted to put on a great boxing masterclass and also show the sweet science of this lovely sport. It’s about hitting and not getting hit.
"Sometimes with certain fighters you have to box smarter. I understand what Andy brought to the table so I had to decapitate him in a different way,” he said.
Ruiz Jr. admitted he hadn't trained well enough for the rematch and got “boxed around.”
“The partying got the best of me," he said. “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.”
Joshua immediately paid tribute to his opponent after the fight, thanking the Mexican fighter and his family, Saudi Arabia for hosting and the traveling fans who made the journey to the Kingdom.