Anthony Joshua steps into the ring this evening in the hunt to reclaim his heavyweight titles against Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia.
Six months ago the world was left stunned when what was meant to be a routine fight for Joshua on his US debut ended with the heavyweight champion relinquishing his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO titles after a seventh round TKO.
The Mexican-born boxer who has had more time to train for this fight second time round will be hoping to repeat his performance as AJ looks to return to top of the heavyweight division once again in Diriyah.
Andy Ruiz Jr: ‘I don’t want to give excuses’
‘I don’t want to give excuses. If we do the third I’ll be in the best shape of my life. I thought I was going to come on stronger but next fight I’ll get prepared and look at my team.
‘I was chasing him too much instead of cutting the ring, my arms felt like they couldn’t throw the combinations.’
Anthony Joshua: ‘The first time was so nice, I had to do it twice!’
‘Okay, first of all, I want to thank god, I want to say, ‘the first time was so nice, I had to do it twice’
‘A man like me makes no excuses, Chisora said I could win this if I’m ready to die. I said I’d correct myself and come again, I want to put on a great masterclass, it is about hitting and not getting hit’.
‘There was never a change in mentality, stay hungry and humble. I want to tank ruiz and his family, everyone in Saudi, all the travelling fans, God, Eddie and Barry Hearn, Rob McCracken.’
‘It is all about preparation, one day when I release a book I’ll talk about my career. It’s all about creating great memories, what do you want me to retire?
‘If you heard – we’re gonna do a third’
‘I’m not perfect but I’m trying. We’re gonna see more boxing in this region, London and America. Hit me up on Instagram, we’re gonna party tonight’.
ANTHONY JOSHUA IS TWO-TIME HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION
ANTHONY JOSHUA IS HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION.
The Brit sweeps the scorecard with a 118-110 118-110 119-109 unanimous verdict victory. Confetti pours over the ring and AJ cradles the four belts once again.
Joshua’s road to redemption is complete and what a beautiful performance. It’s no easy task to dodge Andy Ruiz Jr but AJ was on song and put in his career best performance.
Perhaps now is not the moment to talk 2020 but when the dust is settled boxing fans will be salivating over the prospect of a huge year of heavyweight boxing.
With the knowledge that those belts he won so dramatically six months ago are slipping away, Andy Ruiz is throwing the kitchen sink at Anthony Joshua.
Joshua stops Ruiz in his path with a clean right hand but chooses not to chase the knock out and stay behind the jab, there’s no need to complicate things with moments to go.
Ten seconds to go and Andy Ruiz points to the canvas to lure Joshua into a swinging contest and he says no thanks.
The Brit has made it his sole mission over the past six months to regain the heavyweight crown, and in just a few minutes he should be heavyweight champion once again.