Anthony Joshua regains world heavyweight titles with unanimous decision
Anthony Joshua utilized one of the largest rings ever seen in a heavyweight title fight as the Briton danced his way to redemption in Saudi Arabia.
The now two-time world heavyweight champion regained his position as the unified title holder with a unanimous verdict in Diriyah.
Rarely engaging with Andy Ruiz Jr., who wiped him out in seven rounds in their first meeting, Joshua’s motto was firmly not to get hit.
Working the angles and getting in and out successfully, Joshua only took a minimal amount of blows from the Mexican-American.
When he did get hit, Joshua looked as vulnerable as ever. The once-feared air of invincibility long gone thanks to Ruiz exploits in New York.
One thing’s for sure – he’s back!
Joshua is on top of the world again after what was a disciplined a tactical performance as you could get.
With everything on his terms, AJ used all his boxing knowhow to get the job done. Ruiz just couldn’t get inside and Joshua refused to stand and trade.
It was a near-impossible task for Ruiz, especially with the sheer size of the squared circle.
Fair play to Joshua, he dropped weight and took the task on after what was a humiliating defeat six months ago.
He may not be the force and myth he once was, but Joshua is at the summit once more and revelling in it.
A third fight with Ruiz is set to happen after the-now ex-champion admitted gaining too much weight between bouts.
Michael Hunter thought he’d scrapped his way to a potential world title shot with a WBA heavyweight eliminator triumph over Alexander Povetkin.
‘The Bounty’ began well, attempting to catch Povetkin cold in the early stages. The Russian came back over rounds three, four and five before the fight swung again Hunter’s way.
Hunter stayed on top for a couple of rounds before Povetkin once again enjoyed good sessions towards the end.
After twelve, judges carded 115-113 for either fighter before the third had it 114-114 – a draw. The pair may have to do it again in 2020.
Following a turbulent six months, Dillian Whyte eeked out a decision win over Mariusz Wach at three weeks’ notice.
‘The Bodysnatcher’ was returning from seeing his career under a cloud for a positive steroid test on the day of his fight with Oscar Rivas last summer.
After speaking to UKAD during an investigation, the UK Anti-Doping Agency accepted Whyte’s explanation and decided to drop the charges.
Whyte got his career back on track by going the full ten rounds with Wach and coming out 97-93 on all three cards.
Troubled on occasions, Whyte was the classier of the pair and now needs to get back in shape for sterner tests to come.
Filip Hrgovic made a successful defense of his fringe WBC against former world title challenger Eric Molina.
Returning after nine months following one fight in two years, ex-Anthony Joshua opponent Molina seemed out of sorts.
Down early, Molina looked as though he wanted out. He consistently complained of punches to the back of the head.
Dropped in the second, ‘The Drummer Boy’ had actually hurt Hrgovic before taking an eight count.
Still complaining of rabbit blows, Molina went down again in the third and never made it back up as Ian John Lewis counted ten.
Hrgovic is now 10-0 as the Croatian plots a course to a world title opportunity in 2020.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay