Anthony Joshua reclaimed the world heavyweight championship in Saudi Arabia on Saturday night by outclassing Andy Ruiz Jr over 12 rounds.
Skysports reports that Joshua gained revenge for his nightmare in New York earlier this year, when he fell four times in defeat to Ruiz Jr, by winning a unanimous decision in their rematch and clawing back the IBF, WBA and WBO titles.
This time in Diriyah, in a purpose-built 15,000-seat arena, there had been a downpour in the desert but a disaster for Joshua was averted by his most disciplined and controlled performance to date.
He had to come through a torrid eighth round when Ruiz Jr landed the type of punches that won him the first fight – this time, Joshua teetered but remained upright, and eventually sauntered over the finish line.
Joshua drew blood from Ruiz Jr in the earliest exchanges – he immediately seemed far more relaxed than during the ill-fated first fight and fired a swift right hook which did the damage.
But Joshua then suffered a similar cut in the second round, above his eye, although he remained poised and unhurt.