Anthony Joshua has reclaimed his heavyweight belts after a unanimous verdict victory over Andy Ruiz Jr on Saturday, December 7 in Saudi Arabia.
It wasn’t the exact revenge but Joshua did his part and dominated all the rounds in a boxing masterclass to get his WBA, IBF and WBO belts back.
The three judges gave him the win with two scorecards giving him 118-110 while the third came with 119-109 in the first heavyweight title fight in Saudi Arabia.
After the shocking loss in America in June, it was Joshua who kept Ruiz Jr fast hands at bay and dominated in all rounds.
He was swift with his superb defence as he relentlessly picked out Ruiz with jabs.
The Nigerian-born Briton was ahead from the first round. Leaner and sharper, he feinted and Joshua changed direction to keep Ruiz at bay while simultaneously scoring with a series of stinging jabs.
He opened a cut about Ruiz’s left eye with a jolting right hand towards the end of the first round although the Mexican managed to touch Joshua’s face with a comeback punch.
It remained like that all through the fight as Joshua put up a masterclass in defence to stop Ruiz from getting the combination that floored him at the Madison Square Garden in June.
Ruiz did get Joshua in the eighth round with a stiff combination but the Briton didn’t go down and quickly settled back into the fight.
Towards the closing rounds, it was clear that Ruiz needed a knockout to stand a chance of retaining his belts, but Joshua landed a solid right in the 12th before closing to the win with his defence.
"The first time was so nice, I had to do it twice," Joshua said as quoted by AFP.
The 2012 Olympic champion revealed he had adapted his style after June's loss to Ruiz, when he got drawn into a slugfest before being floored four times on his way to the first loss of his career.
"I'm used to knocking guys out and last time, I realised that I hurt the man but I got caught coming in."
"No excuses, but I said to myself I'm going to correct it and come again."
"I just wanted to put on a great boxing masterclass tonight and also show the sweet science of this lovely sport," Joshua added.
"It's about hitting and not getting hit."
On his part, Ruiz admitted that he didn't prepare well for the rematch.
"It was his night man," Ruiz said. "I didn't prepare as I should of. I gained too much weight. But I don't want to make excuses, he won, he bossed me around.
"But if we do a third fight you best believe I'm going to get in the best shape of my life."
The Mexican who also weighed in 15 pounds heavier than his weight in the first fight said the extra weight affected him.
"I thought I was going to feel stronger and feel better, but on my next fight I'm going to get better prepared," he said.