- Outlasts Ruiz Jnr on points in Saudi Arabia
BY VICTOR OSOWOCHI – Written off after suffering one of the biggest upsets in boxing history at Madison Square Garden in June, Anthony Joshua returned in style to become a two-time world heavyweight champion in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Saturday night.
Comprehensively beating Andy Ruiz Jr in 12 rounds, Joshua got the judges’ unanimous decision with the scores at 118-110, 118-110 and 119-109 to reclaim his IBF, IBO, WBO and WBA (super) heavyweight titles.
In a fight that many boxing pundits agreed was a masterful performance, AJ thoroughly schooled Ruiz from distance and never allowed the Mexican-American to close the gap.
The Brit out-jabbed and out-foxed the Mexican champion, never giving him a chance to get inside and land the nasty hooks that led to his shocking defeat in their first bout
Immediately after the bout, both fighters demonstrated tremendous respect for each other with an embrace in the centre of the ring.
But before attending to their post-fight interviews, Joshua chatted with Ruiz for about 30 seconds or so in a very relaxed and friendly manner.
Speaking to reporters on his victory over Ruiz, Joshua said; “First of all, I want to thank God. I want to say Bismillah!
“A man like me don’t make excuses. Last time, I hurt him but I got caught. I wanted to show the sweet science of this lovely sport. It is about hitting, and not getting hit.
“Stay hungry, stay humble. I am hungry, I am humble in defeat and I am going to stay humble in victory. I have so much respect for Andy and his family.
“Thank you to God and to Eddie and Barry Hearn. If you heard, we are going to do the third.”
“I am not perfect but I am trying. I want to shout out Prince Khlaed and Prince Abdul Aziz. “Two time!”
On the likelihood of arranging a fight with other big names in the heavyweight boxing division, Joshua said; “When Wilder and Fury and Ortiz are really, really ready, they’ll make the call … If you want to create history they know where we are.”
However, the Nigerian-born British boxer seems more keen on a third fight with Ruiz.
Talking about the next step in his career, Joshua said: “I don’t know, I don’t want to talk too much.
“A big mouth is not what people respect. Whatever we can do, I will do.
“Let the fans decide. We are up for anything. I’m made for this stage. Look at this, a purpose built stadium for a purposeful night tonight.”
However reacting to his loss, Andy Ruiz Jr said; “I want to do it again. I came in a bit heavy and if we do the third fight I am going to come in in the best LANGUAGE TIMOTHY shape. I got boxed. But I want to do it again. Thank you to everyone in Saudi Arabia. Who wants to see the third trilogy fight?”
For the fight promoter, Eddie Hearn, “Future plans are to celebrate and to celebrate hard. This man has responsible for the growth of British boxing. He won the title after 16 fights and he unified the belts after 19.
They wrote him off, he was humiliated in Madison Square Garden, they said he was all hype. But he has come back.
We got criticised for coming here, the reception we got from the people and the vision they have for boxing here is incredible.
We are not going to talk about other fighters, he is the king.” – With agency reports