Boxing: Anthony Joshua cruises to victory in rematch against Andy Ruiz Jnr

Joshua lands a clean shot on Ruiz Jnr.
Joshua lands a clean shot on Ruiz Jnr. Photo credit: Getty

Anthony Joshua has reclaimed his place atop the heavyweight boxing world with a comprehensive unanimous decision win over Andy Ruiz Jnr in Saudi Arabia on Sunday (NZ time).

With lessons clearly learned from his shock defeat in their first bout, Joshua controlled the contest from the opening bell, behind a stiff jab and fleet footwork, maintaining a distance Ruiz struggled to close.

The Mexican was unable to work his way inside, where he had so much success in New York City back in June, as Joshua took full advantage of his significant advantage in both height and reach to coast to a comfortable victory, and regain his WBA, IBF, and WBO titles.

Two judges scored the fight 118-110 for Joshua and the third called it 119-109.

The Briton also became just the fourth fighter in heavyweight history to bounce back in a direct title rematch, after Floyd Patterson, Muhammad Ali and Lennox Lewis.

"The first time was so nice, I had to do it twice," Joshua exclaimed afterwards.

"I just wanted to put on a real boxing masterclass and also show the sweet science of this lovely sport. It's about hitting and not getting hit."

Joshua's victory sets up a mouthwatering unification clash with the winnner of the rematch between WBC champion Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury. While that bout is yet to be confirmed, it's expected to take place in late February 2020.

But Ruiz immediately called for a trilogy fight to settle the pair's ledger and Joshua added he'd be "absolutely" keen to run it back one final time.

In the lead-up to the fight, 'The Destroyer' was widely criticised over his weight gain. He tipped the scales at 128kg at Saturday's weigh-in, an increase of 7kg since their first fight.

Reflecting on his defeat, Ruiz admitted it had impacted his performance.

"I didn't prepare how I should have," Ruiz said in his post-fight interview. "I gained too much weight.

"But I don't want to give any excuses. He won, he boxed me around, but if we do this a third time, best believe I'll be in the best shape of my life."