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Anthony Joshua beats Andy Ruiz Jr to win back heavyweight world titles


Anthony Joshua won back his heavyweight world titles and exacted revenge on Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia.

The Brit boxed with far more control than he did six months ago when he was dumped on the canvas four times.

Both men had to overcome cuts around their left eye in the opening stages in Saudi Arabia.

But it was Joshua who produced the more disciplined performance in the desert as he established a comfortable lead by the halfway point.

Ruiz began to work his way into the fight in the second half but was unable to get close enough to land the telling blows.

And the Brit eased through the remainder before being given the nod by all three judges as he once again sits on top of the world.

Anthony Joshua boxed his way to a points win over Andy Ruiz

Joshua and Ruiz were clashing six months after the latter pulled off one of the biggest shocks in the sport’s storied history.

On that occasion, the chubby challenger stepped in at six months’ notice to replace drug cheat Jarrell Miller who tested positive for three banned substances.

He was given little chance of upsetting Joshua who was making his US debut at Madison Square Garden in New York.

And when Ruiz hit the canvas in the third round, the writing appeared to be on the wall.

But he showed tremendous powers of recovery to drop Joshua twice before the bell rang for the end of the session.

And with Joshua concussed and struggling to find his bearings, he was dropped again in the seventh round before the referee stepped in.

Joshua was far more controlled in the rematch

For the sequel, Joshua weighed in 10lb lighter than in the summer while Ruiz was over a stone heavier.

And in the first round, Ruiz took the centre of the ring, backing Joshua up but without landing anything and was then cut by a big right hand at the end of the session.

Joshua opened the cut in the opening minute of the second round and boxed well behind his jab – but the challenger was also cut around his eye after a clash of heads.

The Brit continued to stay disciplined through the third session as he popped his jab out.

Ruiz began to inch forward in the fourth round and get inside Joshua’s guard and managed to land a right towards the end of the session.

Joshua responded well in the next stanza however, landing a back hand of his own as he established a lead on the scorecards.

And after Ruiz landed a left hook in the sixth, Joshua dominated the rest of the round.

There were few hairy moments for Joshua

The rivals briefly went toe-to-toe in the seventh round with Joshua landing the better shots.

Ruiz landed several right hands in the eighth as the challenger began to tire.

But the champion could not get close enough in the next session as Joshua held firm with his jab.

The Mexican-American’s reign as champion was slipping away and he could do little about it.

And eventually it was up to the judges to seal his fate.

On the undercard, Dillian Whyte laboured to a points win over Maruisz Wach in his first fight since July.

The London heavyweight was last night cleared by UK Anti Doping following an failed drugs test before his fight with Oscar Rivas in the summer.

Whyte was carrying excessive weight against Wach but will look to move on to bigger and better fights next year.

In the other heavyweight fight of the evening, Michael Hunter and Alexander Povetkin battled to a thrilling draw.





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