World title history against Anthony Joshua gaining Andy Ruiz Jr. revenge
Anthony Joshua aims to regain the world heavyweight crown on December 7th when the Briton battles Andy Ruiz Jr. for a second time.
In a bid to become a two-time champion, Joshua faces Ruiz in Saudi Arabia.
Joshua could join a select band of top division legends if he can overturn the result after Ruiz stopped him in seven rounds last June. The pair are set to embark on a three-city press tour this week.
Turning to past efforts in 200 pound plus rematches, history is not on the side of the 2012 Olympic gold medalist.
After five previous attempts, it took 43 years from the inception of the heavyweight title for Jack Sharkey to become the first to first to do it in 1932.
Sharkey lost via disqualification to Max Schmeling before gaining revenge two years later.
Jersey Joe Walcott had scored a return win in 1951 opposite Ezzard Charles, but that was at the second attempt and not a rematch.
In 1959, Floyd Patterson avenged a loss to Swede Ingemar Johansson before Muhammad Ali‘s famous win over Joe Frazier was next sixteen years on.
Amazingly, Ali achieved the feat again in 1978. Dropping a shock decision to Leon Spinks in 1978, Ali reversed it that same year.
Another decade and a half went by before Evander Holyfield reversed his loss to Riddick Bowe. A third bout which was non-title was won by Bowe two years after in 1995.
1994 saw Oliver McCall upset Lennox Lewis with a crushing blow. Lewis would have to wait three years to regain his world crown.
Holyfield repeated his Bowe victory in 1997, this time in a triumph versus Michael Moorer. The fight was just months on from a second victory over Mike Tyson.
‘The Real Deal’ was on the receiving end against John Ruiz in 2001, just a day on from Lewis matching a second effort in a knockout of Hasim Rahman.
Since 2001, only Wladimir Klitschko has been able to gain revenge in a world title fight. The Ukrainian beat Lamon Brewster in 2007, three years after being stopped by the American in five rounds.
In a case of 30 rematches, and not including any trilogy contests, regaining belts has only been achieved ten times.
Twenty of those clashes have gone the way of the original winner, which could be an ominous sign for AJ.
Despite the stats, Ruiz remains the underdog to keep a firm grip on his four world title belt come this December.
List of all heavyweight title rematches:
9/6/1899 James J Jeffries KO 11 Bob Fitzsimmons
25/7/1902 James J Jeffries KO 8 Bob Fitzsimmons
28/11/1906 Tommy Burns D 20 Philadelphia Jack O’Brien
8/5/1907 Tommy Burns Pts 20 Philadelphia Jack O’Brien
4/7/1907 Tommy Burns KO 1 Bill Squires
13/6/1908 Tommy Burns KO 8 Bill Squires
24/8/1908 Tommy Burns KO 13 Bill Squires
23/9/1926 Gene Tunney Pts 10 Jack Dempsey
22/9/1927 Gene Tunney Pts 10 Jack Dempsey
12/6/1930 Max Schmeling DSQ 4 Jack Sharkey
21/6/1932 Jack Sharkey Pts 15 Max Schmeling
9/2/1940 Joe Louis Pts 15 Arturo Godoy
20/6/1940 Joe Louis TKO 8 Arturo Godoy
23/5/1941 Joe Louis DSQ 7 Buddy Baer
9/1/1942 Joe Louis KO 1 Buddy Baer
5/12/1947 Joe Louis Pts 15 Jersey Joe Walcott
25/6/1948 Joe Louis KO 11 Jersey Joe Walcott
22/6/1949 Ezzard Charles Pts 15 Jersey Joe Walcott NBA
7/3/1951 Ezzard Charles Pts 15 Jersey Joe Walcott
18/7/1951 Jersey Joe Walcott KO 7 Ezzard Charles
5/6/1952 Jersey Joe Walcott Pts 15 Ezzard Charles
23/9/1952 Rocky Marciano KO 13 Jersey Joe Walcott
15/5/1953 Rocky Marciano KO 1 Jersey Joe Walcott
17/6/1954 Rocky Marciano Pts 15 Ezzard Charles
17/9/1954 Rocky Marciano KO 8 Ezzard Charles
22/6/1959 Ingemar Johansson TKO 3 Floyd Patterson
20/6/1960 Floyd Patterson KO 5 Ingemar Johansson
13/3/1961 Floyd Patterson KO 6 Ingemar Johansson
25/9/1962 Sonny Liston KO 1 Floyd Patterson
22/7/1963 Sonny Liston KO 1 Floyd Patterson
25/2/1964 Cassius Clay RTD 6 Sonny Liston (Clay changed name to Muhammad Ali)
25/5/1965 Muhammad Ali KO 1 Sonny Liston WBC
8/3/1971 Joe Frazier Pts 15 Muhammad Ali
1/10/1975 Muhammad Ali TKO 14 Joe Frazier
15/2/1978 Leon Spinks Pts 15 Muhammad Ali
15/9/1978 Muhammad Ali Pts 15 Leon Spinks WBA
10/12/1982 Michael Dokes TKO 1 Mike Weaver WBA
20/5/1983 Michael Dokes D 15 Mike Weaver WBA
21/9/1985 Michael Spinks Pts 15 Larry Holmes IBF
19/4/1986 Michael Spinks Pts 15 Larry Holmes IBF
25/2/1989 Mike Tyson TKO 5 Frank Bruno
16/3/1996 Mike Tyson TKO 3 Frank Bruno WBC
13/11/1992 Riddick Bowe Pts 12 Evander Holyfield BC/BA/BF
6/11/1993 Evander Holyfield Pts 12 Riddick Bowe BA/BF
24/9/1994 Oliver McCall TKO 2 Lennox Lewis WBC
7/2/1997 Lennox Lewis TKO 5 Oliver McCall WBC
9/11/1996 Evander Holyfield TKO 11 Mike Tyson WBA
28/6/1997 Evander Holyfield DSQ 3 Mike Tyson WBA
22/04/1994 Michael Moorer MD Evander Holyfield WBA/IBF
8/11/1997 Evander Holyfield TKO 8 Michael Moorer WBA/IBF
13/3/1999 Lennox Lewis D 12 Evander Holyfield BA/BF/BC
13/11/1999 Lennox Lewis Pts 12 Evander Holyfield BA/BF/BC
26/8/2000 Evander Holyfield Pts 12 John Ruiz WBA
3/3/2001 John Ruiz Pts 12 Evander Holyfield WBA
12/1/2001 John Ruiz D 12 Evander Holyfield WBA
21/4/2001 Hasim Rachman TKO 5 Lennox Lewis BF/BC
11/1/2001 Lennox Lewis KO 4 Hasim Rachman BF/BC
14/10/2000 Wladimir Klitschko UD Chris Byrd WBO
22/04/2006 Wladimir Klitschko TKO 7 Chris Byrd IBF
10/04/2004 Lamon Brewster TKO5 Wladimir Klitschko WBO
07/07/2007 Wladimir Klitschko TKO 12 Lamon Brewster IBF
12/07/2008 Wladimir Klitschko TKO 11 Tony Thompson IBF/WBO
07/07/2012 Wladimir Klitschko W TKO6 Tony Thompson WBA/WBO/IBF
17/01/2015 Deontay Wilder W pts 12 Bermane Stiverne WBC
04/11/2017 Deontay Wilder KO1 Bermane Stiverne WBC
01/06/2019 Andy Ruiz Jr. TKO7 Anthony Joshua IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO
07/12/2019 Andy Ruiz Jr. ??? Anthony Joshua IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News and an Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay