Anthony Joshua of Watford, Great Britain is once again the heavyweight boxing champion of the world. On Saturday at the Diriyah Arena in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, Joshua beat Andy Ruiz Jr. of Imperial, CA in a unanimous decision.
The bout went the full 12 rounds before Joshua got his revenge. Ruiz Jr. had beaten Joshua on June 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York City with a seventh round knockout.
On Saturday in Saudi Arabia, Joshua, who was the gold medalist in boxing’s super heavyweight division from the 2012 Olympic Games in London, was the more skilled and disciplined fighter. Both fighters stayed upright for the entirety of the match, unlike their last fight at MSG when Joshua was knocked down four times. Ruiz’s win over Joshua was considered a significant upset. Still, according to the Los Angeles Times, there was a belief that Ruiz did not show up to the match in the best of shape. At 283 pounds, Ruiz was 15 pounds more than his weight for his bout against Joshua in June.
By beating Ruiz Jr., Joshua became the World Boxing Association, International Boxing Federation, World Boxing Organization and the International Boxing Organization heavyweight champion. He improved his record as a professional to 23 wins and one loss, with his only defeat coming to his biggest rival at the moment in Ruiz. A total of 21 one of his wins have come via knockout.
This was only the second time in Joshua’s career that he won by a unanimous decision and did not win by knockout. The first win came on March 31, 2018 when he defeated Joseph Parker of New Zealand at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
It should be noted however that Joshua does not hold all of boxing heavyweight titles. The other belongs to Deontay Wilder of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Wilder retained his World Boxing Council heavyweight title on November 23 with a seventh round knockout over Luis Ortiz of Cuba. Wilder improved to 42-0-1 with his win over Ortiz at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV.