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Joshua beats Ruiz Jr on points in Diriyah rematch to regain titles

By Rob Lancaster

Ad Diriyah (Saudi Arabia), December 8: Anthony Joshua regained the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles in Saudi Arabia, avenging the only loss of his pro career in the process, as he recorded a landslide points win over Andy Ruiz Jr.

The rematch between the pair failed to emulate the fireworks they produced in New York back in June, Joshua instead opting to utilise his reach advantage and box behind the jab.

There were occasional moments of success for Ruiz, who had stunned the boxing world when he sensationally stopped the Briton to claim the belts at the famous Madison Square Garden.

However, his reign as champion proved to be short-lived, all three scorecards understandably going in Joshua's favour. The challenger prevailed 118-110 on two of them, with the other score reading 119-109.

The 2012 Olympic gold medallist made his plan clear from the start, even when a big right hand in the first opened up a cut to the side of Ruiz's left eye.

Rather than rush in looking to finish the job, a tactic that cost him dearly in the first meeting, he opted to stay patient and stick to the plan laid out by his trainer, Robert McCracken.

Joshua was admittedly left bleeding himself after taking a blow in the second round, though it was one of the few occasions Ruiz - who had surprisingly weighed in 15 pounds heavier than earlier in the year - managed to catch up with his foe.

While the reigning champion controlled the centre of the ring for the majority of the contest, his inability to close the gap left him a long way behind as the rounds ticked by.

Even when Ruiz beckoned him in during the 12th, Joshua refused to take any risks. His restraint was duly rewarded with a unanimous victory, meaning he is once again on top of the world after getting the job done in Diriyah.

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Read more about: anthony joshua boxing wba ibf
Story first published: Sunday, December 8, 2019, 3:50 [IST]
Other articles published on Dec 8, 2019
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