After cutting his Mexican rival inside the first round he never looked back and picked out smart jabs and right hands throughout before being serenaded with chants of “ AJ , AJ , AJ ” by 14 ,000 or so fans in the Diriyah Arena . Ruiz never looked close to landing a knockdown and when scores of 118 -110 118- 110 and 119 -109 were read out , Joshua jumped up and down in the ring in celebration , just as the man who had wrecked his US debut did in June. Joshua now joins a small cluster of men including Muhammad Ali , Lennox Lewis , Evander Holyfield , Mike Tyson and Floyd Patterson to have reclaimed the world heavyweight title . Patterson fell to the canvas seven times in one round as he lost his belts to Ingemar Johansson in 1959 but regained them in a rematch . The question in Saudi Arabia was whether Joshua could show the same mental fortitude after being knocked down multiple times by Ruiz in June. His answer was emphatic .
A downpour in a country that barely sees rain stopped moments before Joshua strode to the ring , prompting him to carefully dry his feet on the canvas .
From that moment on , his feet moved with grace. Seconds before the off , Ruiz was told “ let ’s go Andy” by his corner but he was rarely allowed to get close to his rival and inflict the damage he did in the first fight .
Ruiz, the bookmakers’ underdog again, was cut above his left eye in the first . He landed two jabs of his own in the second but took a left hook as Joshua moved with the lightness of a man at his lowest weight in five years.
He was burning energy but was slick and showed variety in working head and body in the third . A crowd unfamiliar with the sweet science at such close quarters offered audible applause and cheers as the smart work landed .
There was always tension given the speed with which Ruiz’ s gold gloves can move , and in the eighth he served up a first scare . As the pair tangled , Ruiz made things ugly and winged in a hook . The crowd stamped their feet while Ruiz’ s fighting compatriot Saul ‘ Canelo’ Alvarez stood and screamed ringside .
The ninth felt key , Joshua needed to establish distance again. He landed a solid uppercut but saw Ruiz fire back wildly instantly. Again , the incredible durability of the champion and the constant threat he carried was evident Deep in the 12 th, Ruiz beat his chest as if to dare Joshua close. After a night of lateral movement and poise, it was never going to happen . Joshua glared out at the crowd as the bell sounded . It was a look of a defiance . It was the look of a man who had proved his point.