Anthony Joshua is back on top of the world after he won back his heavyweight title belts from Andy Ruiz Jr. in their ‘Clash on the Dunes’ rematch in Saudi Arabia with a unanimous decision points win. 

Here’s how Joshua defeated the Mexican on Saturday night to once again be crowned WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO world heavyweight champion for a second time.

AJ passes Ruiz Jr. exam

Anthony Joshua described his rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr. as an “exam” which he passed after doing his homework. And the statistics for Saturday night’s bout show that the Watford-born brawler certainly studied his opponent and bettered him in every department.

After losing to Ruiz Jr. in Madison Square Garden back in June, Joshua and his team got to work to analyse the Mexican in more detail, while also shedding the pounds to give his opponent something different to think about.

Joshua’s slimmer frame meant he was more dynamic in the rematch and this was apparent in the way he dominated most of the rounds, especially in the latter stages of the fight, which went the distance for the judges to make their call.

Joshua rules the roost

Joshua threw over 100 punches more than Ruiz Jr., landing 107 out of 373 attempts, compared with the Mexican’s 60 from 261 – giving him a hit rate of 28.7% compared to his opponent’s 23%.

In the power punches department, Joshua also managed to outfox Ruiz Jr. by landing 42 of his 103 big hits he threw (40.8%). Ruiz Jr., meanwhile, was lacking in this department by only landing 37, despite throwing 130 – a strike rate of 28.5%.

As for jabs, Joshua ruled the roost once again, with 65 landed out of 270 (24.1%), compared to Ruiz Jr.’s 23 out of 131 (17.6%).

The percentages of punches landed overall frame the tale after the tape, with Joshua scoring at nearly 29%, while Ruiz Jr. was behind on 23%. Those statistics are telling and reveal why Joshua now has the belts back where he feels they belong.

Landing more punches could perhaps have been down to Joshua being able to move around the ring quicker than in the first match, as the Briton weighed in lighter than he’s ever been for a heavyweight championship bout at 16st 13lbs. Ruiz, on the other hand, tipped the scales at 20st 3lbs, over a stone heavier than his fighting weight for their first meeting in June.

Round 11 was the most convincing for Joshua, where he scored 13 blows to leave the Mexican swaying and in quick need of an interval. Joshua could smell blood but had to be patient in the final round as Ruiz Jr. made a final attempt at landing a big hit – which he failed to do.

After that, it was down to the judges to make their call, where they unanimously agreed that Joshua scored better than Ruiz – with scores of 118-110, 118-110 and 119-109 – to crown him world heavyweight champion once more.

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