Joshua Gets His Redemption
In my final pre-fight words I wrote:
‘I wonder if the rematch like the first fight will be decided by how each fighter has prepared.’
That is pretty how much it turned out. Anthony Joshua turned up fully prepared, Andy Ruiz anything but.
Joshua went the ‘boring’ route, and is once again a world heavyweight champion. It wasn’t a classic by any stretch of the imagination, Joshua had a plan, and for most of the 12 rounds in Saudi Arabia he stuck to it.
Ruiz lost his titles by scores of 118-110, 118-110 and 119-109, which is how most would have scored it.
Joshua moved, never letting himself getting pinned on the ropes, and Andy Ruiz never really looked like repeating what he did in New York. The jab of Joshua dominated, and Ruiz looked a frustrated forlorn figure from very early on in the fight. A title reign ended in the most passive fashion.
There were moments where Ruiz briefly threatened, notably in the 4th and the 8th, but Joshua survived without any real danger coming his way.
The fight lacked the drama most expected, Joshua will not care less, he just had to win, and he succeeded quite magnificently in that quest.
The opening round was tight until Joshua exploded a big right hand which cut Ruiz above his left eye. After that the power shots were kept to a minimum, resisting the obvious temptation to unload and trade.
Ruiz plodded forward, but in reality he flattered to deceive, and I wonder if he will regret his preparation which looked as though it left a lot to be desired. Post-fight he admitted he put on too much weight, definitely a case of stating the obvious.
Joshua got what he wanted, and despite Ruiz calling for a trilogy, Joshua will look for the winner of Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, they waited last time and Joshua lost, they shouldn’t wait again.