Anthony Joshua has redeemed himself from an embarrassing loss in his U.S. pro debut in June by capturing the unified heavyweight titles once again.
Fighting a completely different fight this time around, Joshua outboxed and outjabbed Andy Ruiz Jr. to win a 12-round decision to win the WBA, WBO and IBF titles in Saudi Arabia. Joshua won the bout by unanimous decision (118-110, 118-110, 119-109) with Fightful scoring the fight 118-110 for Joshua on its live coverage page.
Unlike the first fight, where Joshua got anxious and tried to trade big punches with Ruiz after dropping the Mexican in the third round back in June, Joshua had one strategy and that was to use the jab and move back to avoid Ruiz’s big punches. Nearly every round saw Joshua move back and land the left jab while occasionally throwing the right hand upstairs. Ruiz struggled mightily to close the distance and land anything meaningful.
The saga between the two fighters began earlier this year when Ruiz came on as a late replacement for Jarrell Miller, Joshua’s original opponent for June. Ruiz would go on to drop Joshua multiple times in their first encounter at Madison Square Garden to score one of the biggest heavyweight title upsets in modern history.
Now, Joshua is back on top with three of the four titles from the major sanctioning bodies with Deontay Wilder holding the WBC title. Wilder will be facing Tyson Fury in early 2020 in a highly-anticipated rematch, but Joshua’s future is not set in stone. With the WBA, WBO and IBF titles back in hand, Joshua might have to defend his titles, possibly against either Kubrat Pulev or Oleksandr Usyk, both mandatory challengers to Joshua’s titles. Ruiz did say he wanted a trilogy fight and Joshua appeared to be open to a third fight.
Fightful will have a post-show podcast that can be seen in the video at the top of the page.