Order restored as AJ regains Heavyweight Title

in boxing •  2 months ago 

Anthony Joshua defeated Andy Ruiz on Saturday night with a dominant points win to regain the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight belts.


Pre-fight bluster...

In the build-up to the fight, a lot of boxing insiders were backing Ruiz to win. The talk was of Ruiz, who had been boxing since he was 6 years old being too well schooled for Joshua who took up the sport relatively late.

This narrative was torn to bits in the dunes of Diriyah, Saudi Arabia over the weekend. Joshua didn't just beat Ruiz, he outboxed him. Joshua stuck and move and reduced Ruiz to a punches chance of retaining his belts.

Now Joshua's explanation for his shock defeat to Ruiz six months earlier, on June 1, has much more credence. In their first clash, Joshua dropped Ruiz in the third only to be floored twice himself later in the round. Four rounds later, Ruiz completed the job to be crowned the first Mexican heavyweight champion in history.

Joshua blamed his recklessness for going for the finish too soon. 'The meat wasn't cooked.' Ruiz was a late replacement for Jarrell Miller who failed a drug test. If Joshua was too cavalier in the first fight with Ruiz. He certainly minded his Ps & Qs in the rematch.

Restrained aggression

Having stunned Ruiz several times early in the fight, Joshua resisted his natural instinct to go for the finish but instead opted to stick the gameplan and to his boxing. It was a wise move as when they did tie-up, Ruiz was able to let his fast hands go as he sought to catch Joshua trying to exchange in the pocket.

However, Joshua didn't bite, he boxed at long range and keep Ruiz tied up when the distance closed.

Ruiz cut a frustrated figure in the ring, unable to close the distance and initiate the exchanges that would give him a better chance of landing a big punch.

A poor, 'rich man' excuse

After the fight, Ruiz blamed the defeat on his lack of preparation. He came in the fight overweight and hadn't been disciplined with his training camp. For me, this really wasn't a legitimate excuse. He had enjoyed the fruits of being champion too much. There is a saying that 'winning a title is easy, retaining it is the difficult part.'

On June 2nd, Ruiz's life changed forever. Before then, very few outside of hardcore boxing circles knew or rated Ruiz's ability. He had fallen under the radar, even more so due to the unassuming personality he has.

After June 1st, Ruiz had achieved his childhood goals. He had secured his financial future. He had media obligations. There were expectations that he had Joshua's number, would beat him in a rematch and go on to a unification fight with either Wilder or Fury.

Some fighter double-down and get better as champions others self-sabotage. We saw it with Tyson Fury, who went off the rails after his upset win over Wladimir Klitschko. Ruiz is guilty of a similar thing. It is difficult to juggle the discipline of being a champion, being the man with a target on your back with the notoriety and newfound fame.

So Ruiz will go back to being an avoided fighter. However, no-one can take away that night in June nor his position in history nor the financial security he has locked down for himself and his family.

Bigger threat than before

As for Joshua he can look at the defeat to Ruiz as a blip and valuable learning experience. If you factor in his relative lack of amateur experience, Joshua has been seriously fast-tracked. Probably the fastest tracked unified Heavyweight Champion in history. This is mainly a testament to Joshua's ability. What he showed on Saturday night is that he has the ability to adapt his style. We saw glimpses of it in the Joseph Parker fight. The Ruiz rematch was further evidence that Joshua is more than just a knockout artist. He is the most well-rounded of the current crop of top heavyweights. He has knockout power, he has the instincts to clinically finish a hurt opponent. Now we've seen he has a great backfoot game and ability to fight to a disciplined gameplan.

As long as Joshua stays focussed and motivated, it's difficult to see a heavyweight that can beat him... perhaps his toughest opponent is himself.


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Such a pro analysis, you work for a magazine?

Perfect touched all points around this "blockbuster" match.
Great boxing knowledge 👍

He's basically adopted other measures to win, some will intermittently call it cheating or not being able to be withstand taking blows from an opponent. He needs to be focused though. Because he'll face a whole lot of Ruizs going forward and they might be his downfall but for now he's champion let him enjoy it.

I wasn't that impressed by AJs performance.
He went "safe"....
Sticking to his gameplan or scared to go "mano a mano"
with a mexican fighter ?
Deontay Wilder will k.o. AJ

I'd say AJ fought smart. Ruiz had no answer for AJs movement. It was for Ruiz to change the momentum of the fight and he didn't. I think it would have been foolish for Joshua to move away from the gameplan and risk getting caught trading again.

Wilder definitely has a chance of getting the ko against Joshua however Wilder has never fought a puncher like Joshua. It could come down to who tags who first, and I could easily see Joshua knocking out Wilder before Wilder gets a chance to land his straight right hand.

I guess if you just got k.o.ed by Ruiz, fighting "safe" is fighting "smart" ;)
Basically you are right, but i would have liked to see AJ gettin' at least
a knock down on Ruiz...
Wilder and AJ, yeah everything could happen, but i would put my money
on Wilder. I think he got more "Killer Instinct"
Thanks for your answer ;)

Rematch? Best of 3? :)

I think Ruiz blew that chance when he said he didn't train properly for this fight and turned up overweight... I mean wtf!?!

Goodness me. Yeah that's the end of that.

Poor excuse by Ruiz, Noones buying it. If you didn't train properly for it that's your own fault, opportunity missed.

Ruiz obviously underestimated Joshua the same way AJ underestimated Ruiz in the first fight.

Dear @anzo-scoop

I was so excited for that particular fight, and I ended up kind of regreting wasting my time. It has been one of the most boring and dissapointing fights I've seen in a while. Wasn't obvious that Joshua didn't want to "fight". He knew that this time he cannot take any risk. And he didn't.


I think AJ fought a great fight. As big a puncher as AJ is, you can't steam-roller everyone and I think he showed he has a bag of skill to go along with his power. The onus was on Ruiz to change the momentum of the fight and I suspect one of the reasons he didn't was the threat of being badly hurt by Joshua.

Thanks for such a prompt reply @nanzo-scoop

Surely Joshua did well, but on that level each boxer should take into consideration that he should provide some entertainment. After all that's what it's all about when it comes to MMA or boxing.

Joshua looked almost the way Klitchko did for many years. Distance, moving lightly and scoring points all the way. I would not wake up for such a fight, but that's just me :)


It's me again @nanzo-scoop

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Being a Brit myself, it is always good to see our countrymen at the top. Unfortunately, I don’t see AJ remaining with the belts as his chin is very suspect. To be the best you need to have the whole package and while AJ has the best boxing skill set he will always be comprised by his glass jaw. I was never a fan of Tyson Fury but in the last few years I’ve had to eat my words and admit that the guy has skills in the ring. As for Wilder, well, he is a knockout artist and enough experience to back up his game. Tyson has already beaten Wilder both mentally(after getting off the canvass after that horrific knock down) and has out boxed him so for that my money is on Fury to be king of the ring once it’s all played out.
Great review you did here and look forward to reading more from you.

I don't think AJs chin is that bad. If you fight enough top heavyweights you're going to get hurt at some point, it happens to all heavyweights.

AJ got off the floor to beat Klitschko and when you get hit in the temple as he did against Ruiz it is hard for anyone to recover. The 'visuals' of him being in survival mode for 3 or 4 rounds when he was basically done against Ruiz made his punch resistance seem worse than it is IMO.

I think AJ has a tendency to be open to the counter left hook when he is trying to finish guys (it happened against Whyte, Wlad, and Ruiz) if he can fix that he'll be hard to take out.

For me, Fury fights best when he has 'nothing to lose.' Nobody expected him to beat Klitschko or Wilder and he shone. I think he has the tools to beat Wilder (again) however he'll need to defend as the champion, with the target on his back for me to be convinced he's the real deal.

That was a great fight 💪. I didn't even know how it went but with the update on my phone and the news. It was hell....

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  ·  2 months ago Reveal Comment

for @nanzo-scoop

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The salt from America is almost palpable haha.