Anthony Joshua has put on a boxing clinic to regain his heavyweight titles in a blockbuster showdown against Andy Ruiz Jnr in Saudi Arabia.
'SHOULD BE ASHAMED': Andy Ruiz slammed over boxing 'disgrace'
‘NO PLACE IN A RING’: NRL great Justin Hodges KO’d in 39 seconds
Joshua won a unanimous verdict, with two judges giving the fight to the Briton 119-110 and the other 119-109, to take back the WBA, WBO and IBF belts.
Six months after being emphatically beaten by the Mexican in New York, the Brit gained his revenge courtesy of a resounding victory in Diriyah.
The much leaner Joshua controlled the fight from the onset, showcasing his boxing smarts by moving quickly inside the ring and picking his moments to strike.
Ruiz knocked down Joshua four times on the way to a seventh-round upset win in New York in June but there was none of the drama in the rematch at Diriyah Arena.
— C of O (@chydon15) December 7, 2019
Joshua controlled the fight with his movement and better timing of his punches.
While many viewers praised Joshua for a technical masterclass, other fight fans took aim at the style of his victory.
Got nothing against @anthonyfjoshua but that was a cowardly performance in my opinion, Joshua didn't come to fight a real CHAMPION comes to fight, @BronzeBomber and @Tyson_Fury are proper fighters in a different league to @anthonyfjoshua
— Jon Parkinson (@JonCFC1) December 7, 2019
Joshua just running around , doesn’t want the smoke from Andy Ruiz
— Chris (@_ChrissG_) December 7, 2019
Joshua fights like a sissy
— CohanH (@Cohanfly) December 7, 2019
Tactical masterclass from Joshua
— Tom (@TomBartlett01) December 7, 2019
Dizzy watching Joshua run round in circles 💤💤💤
— Samuel Turnbull (@Samuelturnbull) December 7, 2019
Crap fight. Boring. Joshua has managed it well but it is the least entertaining fight I have seen in years. @Tyson_Fury would destroy either of them
— terrible idea. (@simonlegray) December 7, 2019
Joshua so cautious. He'll get on points but his repution will go down, not up. Borefest. #JoshuaRuiz2
— Ian Parker (@jayessconn70) December 7, 2019
Round 11: 10-9 Joshua
Pure boxing domination. The Sweet Science#RuizJoshua2
— Mitchell MCG (@Rookmatic) December 7, 2019
Joshua played it smart u can out box him but u can’t out fight him , the sport is BOXING and he is out boxing him
— Porks (@Rube_TheRealist) December 7, 2019
— Cole 💈(21-6-0) (@cole_westwell26) December 7, 2019
10-1 Joshua. Barring something dramatic, there’s no reason for a trilogy here. Joshua has put on a clinic. #JoshuaRuiz2
— BhamBoxing (@BhamBoxing) December 7, 2019
Joshua been very solid tonight 👏🏻
— Robby (@robbooo_) December 7, 2019
The win sees Joshua regain his WBA, IBF and WBO belts.
Joshua improves his professional record to 23-1.
Anthony Joshua in control of bout
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 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.
— ADAMS STINGER ℹ (@062adams) December 7, 2019
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.