British-Nigeria Anthony Joshua defeated Andy Ruiz Jr by unanimous decision on Saturday night to become a two-time unified heavyweight champion of the world.
Joshua, 30, avenged his June defeat at the hands of the Mexican at Madison Square Garden, where he suffered a huge upset to lose his IBO, IBF, WBO and WBA titles by way of seventh-round technical knockout.
This time, challenger Joshua dominated the fight from start to finish, working behind the jab and cutting Ruiz above the left eye as early as the first round.
Ruiz, who admitted after the fight that coming at a career heaviest had been ill-advised, had pockets of success in the fourth and eighth rounds, but ultimately was unable to build up any momentum as his opponent employed skilful lateral movement and feints to nullify his offence.
“I just wanted to put on a great boxing masterclass and also show the sweet science of this lovely sport,” Joshua said afterward. “It’s about hitting and not getting hit.”
Joshua won on the scorecards of all three judges: 118-110, 119-109 and 118-110.
Up next for Joshua are mandatory challengers via the IBF (Kubrat Pulev) and the WBO (former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk).