Anthony Joshua is back on top in the heavyweight division. On Saturday in Saudi Arabia, Joshua put on a boxing clinic against Andy Ruiz and regained the WBA, IBF and WBO titles he lost back in June.
Joshua walked to a near shutout on all three cards en route to a unanimous-decision victory. 118-110×2, 119-109.
Here is a look at how the boxing community reacted to the results.
Joshua’s jab dictated the identity of the fight throughout the bout. Unlike his approach in the first bout, Joshua stayed tall throughout the bout. He used his jab, movement and quickness to stifle Ruiz’s offense. Many people made reference to Ruiz’s egregious weight gain, and it appeared that was a factor.
Ruiz doesn’t have great foot speed as it is, the extra weight couldn’t have helped him in that department. Ruiz looked unprofessional and ill prepared for a motivated fighter hungry to get his championship back around his waist.
Joshua improved to 23-1 with the victory. He has now avenged the only loss of his career and should be in a position to challenge the winner of the Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury clash that is scheduled for February 2020.
The definitive nature of the victory allows Joshua to graduate to the next step, but because he was stopped in the first bout with Ruiz, a third fight could be in the cards. However, it’s unlikely Matchroom is keen on making a rubber match before Joshua’s cashes in on a significant payday against Wilder or Fury.
Ruiz is still in a good position despite the loss. He has gained almost immeasurable fame when you consider where he was from a popularity standpoint before the first fight in June. He is now a household name for boxing fans, and he still owns a legitimate victory over one of the sport’s biggest stars.
Ruiz will get another great opportunity following this loss and if he wins, a third fight with Joshua becomes all the more likely. Both men expressed a desire to make this a trilogy, but we’ll likely have to wait for the first quarter of 2020 to find out what the next step is for both men.