Anthony Joshua beats Andy Ruiz Jr on points too reclaim heavyweight boxing titles


“It was his night, man,” said Ruiz as his six-month reign came to an end, calling also for a third encounter that Joshua seemed to welcome.

“If you heard, we’re going to do it a third,” said the taller and more athletic Briton.

California-based Ruiz had stopped the previously undefeated champion in the seventh round at New York’s Madison Square Garden last June.

Anthony Joshua gets inside Andy Ruiz Jr during the IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO title bout at the Diriyah Season.Credit:Getty

Joshua described that shock defeat, to a flabby-looking opponent drafted in as a late replacement, as no more than a ‘minor setback’ and he was happy to make light of it again in victory.

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“Man, the first time was so nice, I had to do it twice,” he told the crowd.

“I’m used to knocking guys out but last time I realised ‘hang on a minute, I hurt the man and I got caught coming in’. I gave the man his credit. I said to myself I’m going to correct myself and come again.”

Another loss would have sent the 2012 Olympic super-heavyweight champion’s career into freefall, with some saying already after the last fight that the Briton was finished.

He had shown with his preparations, however, that he meant business – stepping into the ring lighter than ever and giving away more than three stones to Ruiz who had weighed in considerably heavier than in their first showdown.

Joshua celebrates winning the so-called 'Clash on the Dunes' in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.

Joshua celebrates winning the so-called ‘Clash on the Dunes’ in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.Credit:Getty

“You know the saying ‘Stay hungry, stay humble’,” said Joshua. “I’m humble in defeat and I’m going to remain humble in victory.”

Ruiz said he would do it differently next time.

“I think I didn’t prepare it how I should have. I gained too much weight but I don’t want to give no excuses. He won, he boxed me around. If we do the third, I’m going to get in the best shape of my life.”

Reuters

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