Andy Ruiz Jr. came into the match very confident but he didn’t look in boxing shape or condition. Ruiz gained 15 pounds for the fight and weighed in at 283 pounds. He was the second-heaviest boxer to fight for a world heavyweight title. That extra weight would have a toll on him during the match.
Anthony Joshua beat Andy Ruiz Jr. in their much-anticipated rematch Saturday with a unanimous decision in the 12-round heavyweight bout in Saudi Arabia.
Joshua won back his heavyweight championship from Ruiz with the judges scoring the fight 119-109, 118-110 and 118-110.
“I didn’t prepare how I should have,” Ruiz said. “I gained too much weight. I don’t want to give excuses, he won. If we do a third fight, you best believe I’m going to get in shape. I’ll be in the best shape of my life.”
Joshua in this fight exhibits his boxing skills unlike the first fight, resisted brawling with the brawler Ruiz.
“I just wanted to put on a great boxing masterclass and also show the sweet science of this lovely sport is about hitting and not getting hit,’’ Joshua said.
Ruiz, who had become the first Mexican heavyweight boxing champion with his victory over Joshua at the Garden, couldn’t land the knockout punch he needed this time. Ruiz ended the fight at the “World Famous Arena with a TKO in the seventh round.
“It was his night, man,’’ Ruiz said. “I think I didn’t prepare how I should have. I gained too much weight. But I don’t want to give no excuses. He won. He boxed me around.’’
Joshua, 30, improved his record to 23-1 and reclaimed from Ruiz the WBA, IBF and WBO championship belts. Ruiz, 30, fell to 33-2.
Anthony Joshua jumped up and down in the ring with his entourage, celebrating being $70 million richer and having three world heavyweight belts back in his camp.
Joshua had a complete game plan for the pudgy Ruiz, using his lighter frame to outmaneuver Ruiz, relying on his longer reach to stay clear of trouble and selecting his moments to go on the attack to the body.
In the final seconds of a bout fought in the early hours of Sunday, Joshua was almost running around the ring and Ruiz — exhausted and outfought — was planted in the middle, urging him to come closer.
“Sometimes simplicity is genius. I was outclassing the champion,” Joshua said.
Women who attended the fight at the outdoor, purpose-built, 15,000-capacity Diriyah Arena did not appear to be segregated, as they have been in sports stadiums in Saudi Arabia since being allowed into them for the first time last year.
Ruiz finished the fight with blood running across his face, having been caught with a couple of right hooks by Joshua in the first round.
“I just wanted to put on a great boxing master class and also show the sweet science of this lovely sport. It’s about hitting and not getting hit,” Joshua said.