Anthony Joshua silenced his critics in Saudi Arabia on Saturday night, outclassing Andy Ruiz Jr to regain his belts.
The 30-year-old is heavyweight champion of the world once more, bouncing back in style following his defeat to the same opponent back in June.
Joshua wasn’t able to add another knockout to his CV but he did seal a convincing unanimous points victory over the Mexican, who has since admitted that he put on too much weight ahead of the fight.
It’s not clear at this stage who Joshua will fight next, although the WBO announced in the aftermath of Saturday’s bout that the Brit must make a title defence against Oleksandr Usyk within 180 days.
Kubrat Pulev is another potential next opponent for AJ, while a third fight with Ruiz isn’t being ruled out either.
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But everybody wants to see Joshua eventually fight either Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury.
And Wilder has made sure that he’s in Joshua’s head today by criticising the newly-crowned heavyweight champion’s performance in Diriyah.
The WBC champ has accused Joshua of running ‘around the ring’ and believes he won by using the ‘survival’ tactics of Wladimir Klitschko.
"Joshua did what he had to do to get the win,” the American told The Athletic. “He ran around the ring and was on his bike all day.
"Basically, he had Klitschko in the camp and he was a lot like Klitschko: that jab-grab-hold method. That's all he did tonight.”
Wilder continued: "You want to dominate guys, man. Maybe I'm just too rough, too hardcore and too much of a dream for this time and era, maybe the world wants that nice s**t... my mentality is so different from these other fighters.
"But when I think of myself as a champion... you want to come out there and whoop his a*s.
"I'm not coming in, after losing to this guy, to just dance and grab and jab and hold.
"I'm going to show the world and convince them I am the very best and that no-one is close to me, especially with what's going on in the division right now. It's a time of proving who is the best.
"Joshua had many times he could've gone for the finish after he landed the right hand.
"When you land the right hand, you've tackled the distance. When you land that punch, you know you're in exact position for the second time around.
"But he was so hesitant... Joshua's mentality was to survive. The Klitschko method.
"The difference is my mentality is that of a beast, a warrior, a king, an emperor -- all those things. If he calls himself a king, he's just on the nicer side of it.
"This is a brutal sport and that's how I treat it. I ain't showing no love for anybody in that ring."
Wow. Don’t hold back, Deontay, tell us how you really feel!
He clearly believes that he would have got the knockout if he was in Joshua’s shoes on Saturday.
Wilder isn’t the only person to accuse Joshua of playing it too safe against Ruiz.
His latest display has been compared to a Floyd Mayweather performance by many - but not everyone uses this comparison favourably.
That said, Joshua got the job done and surely deserves credit for producing such a convincing win when everything was on the line.
Wilder also criticised Ruiz Jr, adding, per talkSPORT: “People say I have no skills, but my intellect is high enough to know if I’d been in a situation like [Ruiz Jr] and something’s not working, you’ve got to change up my style.
“I’m smart enough to know, cut the f***ing ring off.
“Once you cut the ring off, you put Joshua in a corner and you can have your way with him by hitting him the way you did the first time
“To be in boxing that long and not know how to cut the ring off? If he knew, he didn’t do it, or he didn’t have the intellect. I’m a little upset with him.”
“Ruiz said he was doing great, not letting this moment get to him, but in the end you hear him saying he ate too much and should’ve trained harder… Like, what the f***?
“What do you mean you ate too much and could’ve trained harder?
“I take this s*** seriously. I don’t know what their mentality is, but I didn’t become champion of the world just to say, ‘Put me in the record books. At least I can say I was a champion. They can never take that away from me.’
“F*** that s***. I’m here for legacy. Long live the king. That’s my mentality, and America should love a world champion like me.”News Now - Sport News