Anthony Joshua reclaimed his world heavyweight titles on a dramatic night in Saudi Arabia as he overcame Andy Ruiz Jr in the rematch – here’s how it went down on the night followed by the reaction from it.
Anthony Joshua was easily able to beat Andy Ruiz Jr. in their rematch on Saturday, and three statistics explain why.
The British heavyweight boxed from a distance, relied on his jab and minimised the former champion’s punching power in his 12-round tactical battle at Diriyah Arena in Saudi Arabia.
Joshua’s dominance in the rematch contrasted with the humiliation he endured when he was knocked down four times by Ruiz Jr. in June, defeated for the first time as a professional boxer at Madison Square Garden in New York. York earlier this year, surrendering his world champion belt to the Mexican.
This weekend he won them all back.
And Compubox, a data specialist in combat sport, used statistics to help explain why.
- 65 of Joshua’s 107 landed punches were jabs
- 93% of the fight was at distance
- Ruiz landed just 23% of his total punches
Reliance on the jab
More than 60% of Joshua’s punches were jabs. This is a stark contrast to the first fight, in which he deserted the jab for power, particularly in round three, where he exchanged knockdowns with his opponent.
A consistent jab in the rematch allowed Joshua to keep Ruiz Jr. at arm’s length, which utilized the physical advantages he had over the Mexican. At 6-foot-6 and with an 82-inch reach, Joshua is taller and longer than Ruiz Jr., who is four inches shorter and has a wingspan that is inferior by eight inches.
By making the rematch a jabbing fight, Joshua fought his fight, not Ruiz Jr.’s.
Boxing at distance
In the first fight six months ago, Joshua had Ruiz Jr. down in the third round but got greedy and sought the finish. When he did so, he entered a space that Ruiz Jr. relishes the inside.
As soon as Joshua was on the inside and in range of Ruiz Jr.’s shorter, crisper, and faster punches, he found himself on the floor, fighting the rest of the fight with a concussion.
In the rematch, Joshua did not make the same mistake. He boxed at range instead of the inside, and by keeping the fight at a distance for 93% of the 12-round and 36-minute duration, he ensured he kept himself out of danger.
Staying away from Ruiz Jr.
Relying on his jab and boxing at distance provided excellent defense against Ruiz Jr., who, as a result, was only able to land 23% of his total punches.