There seemed to be a new and rejuvenated Anthony Joshua on Saturday night with a lean physique and an all new fight plan to defeat Andy Ruiz Jr.
He claimed in the build-up to the fight that he would be adding to the team around him during his training camp and vowed to stick with career-long head trainer Rob McCracken – with whom Joshua was able to rise to prominence and become the world heavyweight champion.
So, what was different this time around?
AJ was successful in earning back the IBF, WBA and WBO title belts - the main difference between the much anticipated rematch and the first fight was the style in which Joshua decided to box with in order to beat Ruiz Jr.
The first fight saw Joshua nearly a stone heavier and a sense that Ruiz Jr was merely a stepping stone, and it could maybe forgiven to speculate that the Mexican was overlooked and underestimated by AJ first time round as he looked to put him away early with evidently reckless shots, which ultimately led to a third-round concussion of which he never fully recovered from.
- Ranking Anthony Joshua's top 10 wins
- Deontay Wilder's assessment of Joshua’s win vs Ruiz Jr
- Ruiz Jr admits he put on too much weight for rematch
If we’re measuring statistics from the rematch, it must be noted that more than 60% of Joshua’s punches were jabs – a complete U-turn from the first fight in which he felt power over jab was the key.
Anthony Joshua stands at 6-foot, 6-inches tall with a lethal 82-inch reach – towering over Ruiz Jr by around four inches.
Ruiz Jr used his awkward size differentials to his advantage in the first bout and wouldn’t allow AJ to do any final damage; instead he lured the Brit in close where he was able to pounce and hurt Joshua early on.
With a new fight-plan in mind; Joshua showcased the sweet science of boxing by keeping his distance, sticking and jabbing – looking to pick Ruiz Jr off slowly and much more calculated than before.
Via AJ’s new tactic, he limited Ruiz Jr to only landing 23% of his total punches.
It was clear to see that Ruiz Jr relies heavily on the inside fight in which he is able to do damage with powerful hooks and swings; Joshua didn’t allow for that to happen in Saudi and chose to remain calm, patient and calculated – fighting on the outside.
In fact, it should be noted that 93% of the fight was fought at distance and 65 of the 107 punches Joshua landed were jabs.
Joshua is now a coveted 2x world heavyweight champion and will look to fight again in the new year; who his opponent will be is yet to be seen – whilst Ruiz Jr is hoping for a rematch, there just doesn’t seem to be anything left for AJ to prove from a trilogy fight, and so will most likely look to the big players in the division such as a Tyson Fury or a Deontay Wilder.
Time will tell, but as for right now, AJ will welcome his belts back with open arms and look to silence his critics once again in 2020!News Now - Sport News