Anthony Joshua heard the calls heading into Saturday's rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr. He was told he quit in the first fight back in June. He couldn't change who he is at his core as a fighter.
Joshua quieted the naysayers, as he put on a boxing clinic from the opening bell to the conclusion of the fight, to defeat Ruiz by unanimous decision (119-109, 118-110, 118-110) to capture the IBF, WBA (super) and WBO heavyweight titles at Diriyah Arena in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. DAZN News scored the fight 118-110 for Joshua.
"The first time was so nice, I had to do it twice,” Joshua said in his post-fight interview. “This is about boxing. I’m used to knocking guys out, but last time I got caught coming in. I gave the man his credit. But I corrected myself and came again. I respect Andy and his family so much. I just wanted to put on a boxing master class, and show the sweet science of this sport. It’s about hitting and not getting hit.”
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Not wanting to get into the firefight that caused him to lose his titles in June, Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) made it a point to stay disciplined, fighting on the outside and pumping the jab at will to keep Ruiz at bay. Anytime Ruiz tried to get to the inside to try and uncork his power, Joshua used good footwork to slip out of the way and avoid any significant damage.
The CompuBox stats had Joshua connecting on 107 out of 373 punches (29%) with 65 of those shots being jabs. Ruiz landed 60 out of 261 (23%) with 37 of those being power punches.
Joshua and Ruiz expressed interest in a trilogy bout taking place in the future, but it is unknown if that will take place considering the domination of Joshua on Saturday evening in the Middle East.
Andy Ruiz Jr. vs. Anthony Joshua 2 round-by-round results
(All times Eastern)
Anthony Joshua beats Andy Ruiz Jr. to become two-time heavyweight champion
5:12 p.m.: Joshua def. Ruiz by unanimous decision (119-109, 118-110, 118-110) to win the IBF, WBA (super) and WBO heavyweight titles.
Round 12: More of what we saw for the first 11 rounds. Couldn't ask for a better performance from Joshua, and it looks like there will be a new unified heavyweight champion. (10-9 Joshua, 118-110 Joshua)
Round 11: You could see the frustration coming from Ruiz's face when he rose from his stool to begin the 11th round. And there was nothing he did in the stanza to change the look as Joshua continued to pump the jab at will. Ruiz needs a knockout to win the fight. (10-9 Joshua, 108-101 Joshua)
Round 10: Jab, jab, jab. That's the name of the game here for Joshua. A little bit of trash talk to Ruiz at the end of the round. (10-9 Joshua, 98-92 Joshua)
Round 9: Joshua weathered the brief storm in the eighth round and came back to pump the jab and a nice three-punch combination to keep Ruiz back. Ruiz needs to start letting it go here. The belts are slipping from his grasp. (10-9 Joshua, 88-83 Joshua)
Round 8: Ruiz with a much-needed round. He let it loose and got on the inside and started to connect. He's frusrating Joshua with the pot shots in the clinch. Now, how does Joshua adapt? Can Ruiz continue the momentum to get back into the fight? (10-9 Ruiz, 78-74 Joshua)
Round 7: The confidence is brimming from Joshua one second after another. He's boxing and dictating everything at this point. Can Joshua stick to the plan for another five rounds? (Joshua 10-9, 69-64 Joshua)
Whenever Joshua starts exchanging his team behind me yells “NO! Keep it simple.” This is truly a “just win, baby” fight for Joshua. And he’s just winning.— Andreas Hale (@AndreasHale) December 7, 2019
Round 6: Ruiz needs more than a hard left hook he threw halfway through the round. He needs to let his hands go, but he needs Joshua to be there to be hit. (10-9 Joshua, 59-55 Joshua)
Round 5: Was hard to know how Joshua would come back after Ruiz gained some momentum. Joshua went to popping a hard jab that is getting through with ease. Ruiz's face is starting to become mincemeat. (10-9 Joshua, 49-46 Joshua)
Round 4: The best round of the fight so far for Ruiz. He finally started using the jab which allowed him to get on the inside. He connected on a hard overhand right and a left hand. Ruiz landed two more right hands to steal the round. The tide appears to be shifting a bit. (10-9 Ruiz, 39-37 Joshua)
Round 3: Ruiz needs to find a way to get on the inside. Joshua is making it look easy by utilizing the jab and even dug a nice left hook to the body. Ruiz needs to go after Joshua and not just follow him around the ring. (10-9 Joshua, 30-27 Joshua)
Round 2: An even round in which Joshua was cut over his left eye, like Ruiz. But Joshua continues to show good discipline by keeping Ruiz at the end of his jab and then punctuating it all with the straight right hand. Well, here comes the round where the complexion of the first fight changed. Do we get the same here? (10-9 Joshua, 20-18 Joshua)
Round 1: You couldn't have asked for a better start if you're Anthony Joshua. He feinted in the opening sequence and showed good boxing from there. He showed good footwork, a good jab and a hard straight right hand at the end of the round to give Ruiz a cut at the corner of his left eye. (10-9, Joshua)
4:09 p.m.: Out comes the unified heavyweight champion, Andy Ruiz Jr.
4:06 p.m.: In the unfamiliar role as the challenger, here comes Anthony Joshua.
4:03 p.m.: It is now time for the main event of the evening for the IBF, WBA (super) and WBO heavyweight championships, as Andy Ruiz Jr. defends against former champion Anthony Joshua.
The time for all the writing and talking is done. Who leaves Saudi Arabia the unified heavyweight champion? If it is anything like the first fight, we should be in for a classic.
3:47 p.m.: In a swing bout, Diego Pacheco def. Selemani Saidi by knockout at 1:38 of the first round. A big right hand was all Pachecho needed to send Saidi packing for the evening to remain undefeated in eight fights with seven KOs. Someone to definitely keep your eye on in the super middleweight division.
Alexander Povetkin and Michael Hunter battle to split draw
3:36 p.m.: Povetkin and Hunter went to a split draw (115-113 Hunter, 115-113 Povetkin, 114-114). Nothing wrong with the score as DAZN News had it 114-113 for Povetkin, with the Russian being given a 10-8 in the fifth round because of what should have been scored a knockdown for Povetkin.
A good fight and one I wouldn't mind seeing again.
Round 12: Close round with each guy having their moments. Early on, Hunter connected on a couple right hands. Down the stretch, Povetkin showed his championship mettle by being more active and connecting on a more consistent basis. (10-9 Povetkin, 114-113 Povetkin)
Round 11: In the second-to-last round, Hunter seized the moment. He rocked Povetkin and nearly finished him on more than one occasion with hard right hands. Can Hunter do that again and possibly win the fight? (10-9 Hunter, 104-104)
Round 10: Hunter regains control as he's now going on the inside and pounding the body. Who can make necessary adjustment in the championship rounds? (10-9 Hunter, 95-94 Povetkin)
Round 9: A bounceback round that Povetkin sorely needed. He's finding a home with the left hand on the inside. That's Povetkin's best path to success. (10-9 Povetkin, 86-84 Povetkin)
Round 8: Hunter flipped the script and started boxing which surprised Povetkin, who looks defeated right now. He needs to find a way to regain some momentum and seize control once again. (10-9 Hunter, 76-75 Povetkin)
Round 7: A ho-hum seventh round until the final minute when Hunter wobbled Povetkin with a right hand. Povetkin fired back with a hard right hand of his own. Hunter being aggressive looks to be his best recipe of success. Jab to the body and then the power shots is working for him. Let's see if he keeps doing it. (10-9 Hunter, 67-65 Povetkin)
Round 6: Hunter gains back a little momentum with a stiff power jab to the body followed by a combination. Hunter needs to continue throwing those shots, and he can get himself right back in the fight. (10-9 Hunter, 58-55 Povetkin)
Round 5: Great round for Povetkin. He blasted Hunter with a left hook that nearly sent Hunter through the ring. Don't know it wasn't ruled a knockdown because the ropes saved Hunter from getting sent to the canvas. (10-8 Povetkin, 49-45 Povetkin)
Round 4: Povetkin using his experience well here. He's making Hunter fight out of the ordinary and is making him pay with one power shot after another and then keeping honest by pumping the jab. Hunter needs to box and then everything else comes together. (10-9 Povetkin, 39-37 Povetkin)
Round 3: A pretty close round. Povetkin is gaining control with the jab and landing that sneaky left hand. Hunter needs to relax and not throw everything with reckless abandon. (10-9 Povetkin, 29-28 Povetkin)
Round 2: Good bounce back for Povetkin. He gathered his bearings and started to box which thwarted Hunter's onslaught from the first round. (10-9 Povetkin, 19-19)
Round 1: Hunter came looking for the knockout, connecting on a combination that stunned Povetkin. Hunter kept the pressure on Povetkin for the entire round. Coudn't ask for a better start if you're Hunter. (10-9, Hunter)
2:39 p.m.: It is time for the co-main event of Ruiz vs. Joshua 2 as Michael Hunter (18-1, 12 KOs) takes on former heavyweight champion and 2004 Olympic gold medalist Alexander Povetkin. Hunter's only loss came at cruiserweight to Oleksandr Usyk in April 2018. Can Hunter make the successful leap up in competition?
Dillian Whyte looks sluggish in decision win over Mariusz Wach
2:21 p.m.: Whyte def. Wacz by unanimous decision (98-93, 97-93, 97-93). Pretty wide decision in a fight that was closer than the judges scored it. After the fight, Whyte said he was out of shape. A high-caliber opponent, and the result would have been different.
It will be interesting to see what happens next with Whyte. Will the WBC reinstate the interim heavyweight title tag now that Whyte has been cleared from his drug test violation? The sanctioning body hasn't been kind to him in not making him the mandatory challenger for Deontay Wilder in the past. Let's hope they do the right thing and put Whyte in the spot he belongs in.
2:19 p.m.: We now head to the scorecards. Who did enough to earn the victory?
2:15 p.m.: Just when it looked like Wacz was out, he roars back with great activity and is connecting with good, hard shots. Whyte looks rough here, and that's being nice about it.
2:10 p.m.: Wacz slowing down a bit in the eighth round but still showing a ton of heart. Whyte's gained control with good shots to the body followed by going upstairs.
2:03 p.m.: Wacz making a good accounting of himself through six rounds. You can tell Whyte doesn't look in great shape and is laboring in a way, and Wacz is making him pay with good inside work. Let's see if Whyte can dig down and get a stoppage.
1:30 p.m.: Right now at Ruiz vs. Joshua 2, Dillian Whyte squares off with Mariusz Wach. Whyte (26-1, 18 KOs) comes in on a 10-fight winning streak after losing to Joshua in December 2015. Wach (35-5, 19 KOs) is a former world title challenger, losing a decision to then-unified heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in November 2012. Wach comes in winning back-to-back fights after going through a three-fight losing streak.
This is a stay busy fight for Whyte. But "The Body Snatcher" received good news on Friday when he was cleared of any wrongdoing from an adverse drug testing finding in July.
Other Ruiz vs. Joshua 2 undercard results
1:27 p.m.: The former champion is in the arena.
1:21 p.m.: DAZN announced Anthony Joshua hasn't arrived to the arena yet as it appears his driver has gotten lost.
1:20 p.m.: Hopey Price def. Swedi Mohamed at 2:22 of the third round.
1:12 p.m.: The reigining unified heavyweight champion has arrived.
1:00 p.m.: The pouring rain continues on in Saudi Arabia. Due to the fact the first couple of fights have ended quickly, a swing bout will take place as Hopey Price takes on Swedi Mohamed in a four-round bantamweight affair.
12:52 p.m.: Filip Hrgovic def. Eric Molina by knockout at 2:03 of the third round. We weren't wrong in our assessment of how this was going to go from the second round. Hrgovic continued to pour it on in the third until he sent Molina down for good with another right hand to remain undefeated in 10 fights, with eight of those coming by KO. Another guy to watch out for in a division that needs more contenders.
12:47 p.m.: Give Molina credit here. Hrgovic dropped him in the second round with a thudding right hand but used his veteran instincts to survive. Would be surprised if it doesn't end in the third.
12:39 p.m.: Up next at Ruiz vs. Joshua is Eric Molina facing Filip Hrgovic in heavyweight action.
12:22 p.m.: Magomedrasul Majidov def. Tom Little by TKO at 1:49 of the second round. Majidov continued the onslaught from the knockdown in the opening round and continued his assault in the second, blasting Little with one hard shot after another. Finally, the referee decided to step in and save Little from a further beating.
Majidov runs his record to 2-0 with two stoppages. Definitely someone to keep your eye on.
12:18 p.m.: Majidov sends Little packing in the opening round with a right hand. Didn't like how Little fell to the mat there. Something to watch out.
12:10 p.m.: Kicking off the action is Magomedrasul Majidov taking on Tom Little in heavyweight action. Watch out for Majidov as he's a three-time amateur champion.
12:00 p.m. ET: Welcome to DAZN News' live coverage of the rematch between Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua. Stay locked in, grab some refreshment and enjoy an exciting day of action.
Ruiz vs. Joshua 2 fight card
|Anthony Joshua def. Andy Ruiz Jr., unanimous decision||Heavyweight||IBF/WBA/WBO|
|Alexander Povetkin vs. Michael Hunter, split draw||Heavyweight|
|Dillian Whyte def. Mariusz Wach, unanimous decision||Heavyweight|
|Filip Hrgovic def. Eric Molina, KO||Heavyweight|
|Magomedrasul Majidov def. Tom Little, TKO||Heavyweight|