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Anthony Joshua beats Andy Ruiz Jr. by unanimous decision: Round-by-round recap

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Anthony Joshua, right, taunts Andy Ruiz Jr. during their heavyweight title match Dec. 7, 2019, in Saudi Arabia.
Anthony Joshua, right, taunts Andy Ruiz Jr. during their heavyweight title match Saturday in Saudi Arabia.
(Richard Heathcote / Getty Images)

Anthony Joshua reclaimed his heavyweight titles with a unanimous decision victory over Andy Ruiz Jr.

Anthony Joshua reclaimed his world heavyweight titles Sunday by producing a disciplined and smart display to beat Andy Ruiz Jr. on points in their rematch in the first title fight to be staged in the Middle East.

Joshua won a unanimous verdict, with two judges giving the fight to the Briton 119-110 and the other 119-109.

Ruiz knocked down Joshua four times on the way to a seventh-round upset win in New York in June but there was none of the drama in the rematch as Joshua controlled the fight with his movement and better timing of his punches. Neither boxer was sent to the canvas.

Joshua won back the WBA, WBO and IBF belts.

By the end of an unspectacular bout fought in the early hours of Sunday in a relatively cool 19 C (66 F) for this part of the world, Joshua was almost running around the ring and Ruiz was planted in the middle, urging him to come closer.

“He boxed me around,” Ruiz said, adding that he came in too heavy after putting on 15 pounds since the first match.

“That affected me a lot.”

It was the first heavyweight title fight to be staged in the Middle East and was played out to a backdrop of concerns that Saudi Arabia was using this and other big sporting events to divert attention from its human-rights violations. They include the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Women who attended the fight at the purpose-built, 15,000-capacity Diriyah Arena did not appear to be segregated, as they have been in sports stadiums in Saudi Arabia since being allowed into them for the first time last year.

The fight began at 12.15 a.m. local time soon after rain fell in the desert venue.

— Associated Press

Anthony Joshua gets his belts back after easy, unanimous decision over Andy Ruiz

Anthony Joshua regained his heavyweight belts with an easy win over Andy Ruiz in Saudi Arabia. Ruiz’s extra weight and apparent lack of training made this fight much like what everyone expected in the first fight.

According to the judges it was a unanimous decision by scores of 118-110 and 119-109 for Anthony Joshua.

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Round 12: Joshua finishes it off strong and Joshua should win easily

Ruiz needs a knockout here as he’s only won one round. The fun Rocky story is coming to an end. Joshua just needs to stay away from Ruiz.

A nice right by Joshua lands flush on Ruiz’s face, but Joshua backs away, staying away from Ruiz’s power. A nice left by Joshua as he continues to run away for Ruiz. A really strong showing by Joshua who showed his boxing skills.

Los Angeles Times Card: 10-9 Joshua. 110-109 Joshua wins on this card

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Round 11: Joshua close to getting his belts back

A sharp left by Joshua starts the round and Joshua is looking very comfortable. He’ll just need to avoid a big punch by Ruiz to get his belts back.

Joshua just has not let Ruiz get close. At the moment Ruiz lands a punch, Joshua is smart to clinch and slow things down. Ruiz looks frustrated that he can’t get to Joshua and his hands have started to drop.

Another clear win in the 11th for Joshua. Three minutes until he gets his belts back.

Los Angeles Times Card: 10-9 Joshua. 109-100 Joshua leads

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Round 10: Slower action in tenth, but Joshua’s jab still the difference

Ruiz is continuing to come forward and he is starting to look desperate. He knows he needs to land something here. Joshua continues to move and avoiding the big punches Ruiz is trying to land to get back into this fight.

A couple nice left jabs by Joshua is keeping Ruiz at bay. Great movement by Joshua as he continues to outbox Ruiz. Less action in the tenth, but Joshua wins it with his jab and movement

Los Angeles Times Card: 10-9 Joshua. 99-91 Joshua leads

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Round 9: Joshua back on top as he continues to avoid Ruiz’s power shots

Slower start to the ninth but Ruiz is looking much more like the aggressor. Joshua will need to continue to box to avoid Ruiz’s power and speed.

A nice left by Joshua snaps Ruiz’s head. Joshua is definitely on his bike and continues to move while making Ruiz come to him. Ruiz’s fitness will now come into play. Ruiz’s left eye has started to swell from the jabs. Joshua lands a big punch but backs away to avoid the Ruiz counter. Smart boxing by Joshua as he wins the ninth.

Los Angeles Times Card: 10-9 Joshua. 89-82 Joshua leads

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Round 8: Ruiz wins first round after two big punches land on Joshua

A big left hook glances off of Ruiz to start the round. Ruiz has been focusing much more to the body in this round.

Another punch to the back of the head by Ruiz and is frustrating Joshua with his clinching and late punches.

The best action of the fight right now for Ruiz after a couple good punches have landed on Joshua. This is the first time that Joshua has looked hurt. This may get interesting now. The first round won by Ruiz.

Los Angeles Times Card: 10-9 Ruiz. 79-73 Joshua leads

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Round 7: Joshua is outboxing Ruiz and continues to dominate

The later rounds will benefit the fitter Joshua so Ruiz will need to come up with something big here or he will run out of time.

A left hook lands by Joshua as Ruiz has no started trying to clinch. A right just misses by Joshua that would have done some damage. Another right after a clinch lands flush on Ruiz’s face and Joshua is looking very good right now. Ruiz doesn’t back down though and is continuing to move forward.

Another good round for Joshua.

Los Angeles Times Card: 10-9 Joshua. 70-63 Joshua leads

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Round 6: Another easy round for Joshua

Some good punches landed by Joshua at the start of the round but pulls back and doesn’t go for the knockout. He is in charge of the fight and doesn’t want to expose himself to a Ruiz power shot. He can continue to box and take back his belts at this point.

Joshua is just the quicker, more skilled fighter. Ruiz will need a big punch to get back into this fight. Another clear round for Joshua. Ruiz is in trouble.

Los Angeles Times Card: 10-9 Joshua. 60-54 Joshua leads

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Round 5: Joshua continues to dominate as Ruiz starts to fade

A left just missed by Ruiz, who even though he is getting beat is not backing down. Ruiz keeps going forward and Joshua continues to pepper him with the jab. A big right by Joshua, followed by a jab and Joshua is looking very comfortable right now.

Another good round for Joshua, who is showing great discipline and boxing skills. Ruiz looks like he’ll need a big punch to get back into this fight.

Los Angeles Times Card: 10-9 Joshua. 50-45 Joshua leads

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Round 4: Best action of the fight so far, but Joshua still leading

The first clinch of the fight right off the bat which may show some fatigue on Ruiz’s part. A nice jab snaps Ruiz’s head back as Joshua continues to show his superior skills. Ruiz did respond with a nice hook.

Joshua just missed with a big right that might have ended the evening if it had landed. A right by Ruiz lands, but Joshua is really now pushing the action. He has missed a couple big punches, but Ruiz isn’t backing down. Best action of the fight in the last thirty seconds of the round

Los Angeles Times Card: 10-9 Joshua. 40-36 Joshua leads

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Round 3: Joshua boxing skills evident as he continues to dominate Ruiz

Not much action so far in the third round as both fighters are still very cautious. Ruiz is throwing his jab to keep Joshua off of him.

The left jab has been effective for Joshua as he lands it almost at will. A couple good jabs by Joshua, who is outboxing Ruiz. Very few punches landed, but the boxing skills of Joshua are evident as he continues to lead.

Los Angeles Times Card: 10-9 Joshua. 30-27 Joshua leads

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Round 2: Even round as Ruiz draws blood over Joshua’s eye

Joshua is moving well, but Ruiz finally lands a couple of jabs. A right by Joshua opens the cut on Ruiz’s face. Even round so far, but Joshua is moving much better and looks much quicker.

A nice hook by Joshua at the 1:30 mark and be adds a couple of jabs to push back Ruiz. A cut appears over Joshua’s right eye and both fighters are bleeding. Ruiz lands a couple of jabs as well. Even round so far. Could go either way.

Los Angeles Times Card: 10-9 Joshua. 20-18 Joshua leads

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Round 1: Great first round for Joshua, who draws blood over on Ruiz

Andy Ruiz does not look in shape. That may be an understatement. Joshua lands a quick jab. Very little action in the first minute as the boxers are feeling each other out. A nice left by Joshua followed by a solid right. Good start from Joshua. Ruiz is trying to land some body shots. Another big right by Joshua and some blood has shown up on Ruiz’s eye. Great first round by Joshua.

Los Angeles Times Card: 10-9 Joshua

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The fighters are entering the ring and anthems have been sung

A very simple ring walk for Anthony Joshua as the challenger. A very different entrance than how he used to come into the ring as champion. Shows a much more focused Joshua who is walking into the ring by himself.

Andy Ruiz is also entering by himself, but to the strains of Marc Anthony.

The national anthems are done and the fighters are being introduced. Ruiz chose to have both the U.S. and Mexican anthems song.

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Andy Ruiz vs. Anthony Joshua: The main event is about to begin

The main event between Andy Ruiz and Anthony is about to begin as the strains of ‘Sweet Caroline’ have started.

A much different response in the arena in Saudi Arabia then in England. The ring walks are about 5 minutes away from starting.

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Main event between Andy Ruiz and Anthony Joshua will start later

The rematch between Andy Ruiz and Anthony Joshua will not start at the advertised time as another fight was added right before the main event.

Selemani Saidi (20-15-5) is taking on Diego Pacheco (7-0) out of Los Angeles was scheduled right before the main event.

Expect the main event to start around 1:15 p.m. depending on the outcome of the undercard fight.

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Canelo Alvarez shows up in Saudi Arabia to support Andy Ruiz

Mexican champion Canelo Alvarez traveled across the globe to show support for his friend , heavyweight Andy Ruiz.

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What time does the Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz fight start?

Heavyweight boxer Andy Ruiz Jr. of Mexico poses during a weigh-in at Faisaliah Center, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Friday, Dec. 6, 2019. The first ever heavyweight title fight in the Middle East, has been called the "Clash on the Dunes." Will take place at the Diriyah Arena on Saturday. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
(Hassan Ammar/AP)

The heavyweight fight between champion Andy Ruiz and Anthony Joshua from Saudi Arabia is expected to start around 12:45 p.m (Pacific Time)

The rematch of the epic upset from earlier this year should start with the ring walks for both fighters in the next hour. The ring walks are scheduled for 12:45 pm. and the fight should begin around 1 p.m. Pacific.

Stayed tuned to this page for live updates from the fight with live scoring and analysis.

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Andy Ruiz-Anthony Joshua rematch overshadowed by location: Saudi Arabia

Mexican-American heavyweight boxing champion Andy Ruiz Jr (L) Eddie Hearn (C) and British heavyweight boxing challenger Anthony Joshua (R) are pictured during their press conference in Diriyah in the Saudi capital Riyadh, on December 4, 2019, ahead of the upcoming "Clash on the Dunes". - The hotly-anticipated rematch between Ruiz Jr and British challenger Anthony Joshua is scheduled to take place in Diriya, near the Saudi capital on December 7. (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP) (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images) ** OUTS - ELSENT, FPG, CM - OUTS * NM, PH, VA if sourced by CT, LA or MoD **
(FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)

Fifty million dollars. That’s the site fee that Matchroom Boxing procured to take the heavyweight championship showdown between Andy Ruiz and Anthony Joshua to Saudi Arabia, a country with a history of human rights violations, including the 2018 killing of a United States-based journalist, Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi.

READ THE ENTIRE STORY HERE

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Andy Ruiz weighs in as an even heavier underdog against Anthony Joshua

Mexican-American heavyweight boxing champion Andy Ruiz Jr (L) and British heavyweight boxing challenger Anthony Joshua pose during the official weigh-in in the Saudi capital Riyadh, on December 6, 2019, ahead of the upcoming "Clash on the Dunes". - The hotly-anticipated rematch between Ruiz Jr and British challenger Anthony Joshua is scheduled to take place in Diriya, near the Saudi capital on December 7. (Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP) (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

The tale of the tape takes on an extra dimension before the most anticipated boxing match of the year.

Anthony Joshua said he’s been training for six months nonstop, preparing in the longest camp of his life to avenge the most humiliating moment of his career. He wants to regain the four versions of the heavyweight title that he lost to Andy Ruiz in June and prove the catastrophic night was a one off.

Joshua’s svelte stature, and the scale, translated his hard work, one day before his rematch Saturday in Saudi Arabia as the British-born heavyweight boxer (22-1, 21KOs) weighed in at 237.8 pounds. It was about 10 pounds less than his previous weight when replacement opponent Ruiz pulled off the stunner of the century with an improbable, come-from-behind seventh-round knockout.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE

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