Anthony Joshua regained the WBA, IBF, and WBO heavyweight titles on Saturday in Saudi Arabia, dominating Andy Ruiz Jr over 12 rounds in their huge rematch, evening the score with the Mexican-American who upset him just six months ago in far more dramatic fashion.
Joshua (23-1, 21 KO) wasn’t as explosive or exciting as he was on his way up in the sport, but his tactics — and the plan by Rob McCracken and the rest of Joshua’s team — have largely been praised by those in the sport, as he stayed level-headed throughout and never let Ruiz (33-2, 22 KO) really get into the fight at all.
Twitter was, of course, lit up before, during, and after the bout, and a lot of top pros had plenty to say once the dust has settled.
Here’s a compilation of those thoughts from the likes of Josh Taylor, Shakur Stevenson, Julian Williams, Jamel Herring, Luke Campbell, and many more:
Fair play to AJ for getting his shi changed up and getting the tactics spot on. That being said, I still think he’s been on his bike a little too much still looks really vulnerable. Boring fight, but fair play— Josh Taylor (@JoshTaylorBoxer) December 7, 2019
Hats off to big AJ, changed up his camp and changed what he had to, but still on that performance I don’t see him surviving 12 with wilder or out boxing fury in my opinion— Josh Taylor (@JoshTaylorBoxer) December 7, 2019
Ruiz looked more sharper and obviously fit, when he fought Joshua the first time, on a LATE notice. Credit to Joshua for fighting smart.#RuizJoshua2— Jamel Herring (@JamelHerring) December 7, 2019
Boxing at its finest for AJ— Tony Harrison (@Iamboxing) December 7, 2019
2Xxxxxxxxxx that’s how you do it @anthonyfjoshua ! And the new!— ClaressaT-rexShields (@Claressashields) December 7, 2019
Beautiful display of boxing. What true champions are made of... taking defeat & coming back bigger & stronger or in this case ‘smaller’ & stronger. Congratulations brother. Now it’s my turn.— Chris Eubank Jr (@ChrisEubankJr) December 7, 2019
Anthony joshua rob mccracken take a bow— Gamal Yafai (@Gamal_yafai) December 7, 2019
Good fight AJ way to make dude EASY WORK— Shakur Stevenson (@ShakurStevenson) December 7, 2019
Y’all mad at Joshua but Ruiz ain’t throw no punches— Shakur Stevenson (@ShakurStevenson) December 7, 2019
Boxed beautifully smashed it my brother @anthonyfjoshua— Joe Cordina OLY (@JoeCordina_91) December 7, 2019
I was worried about the big man tonight but I’ve got to give it to him...— Scotty Cardle (@ScottyCardle) December 7, 2019
Good feet, sharp reactions, great jab... Very disciplined display!
Boxing lesson. Great performance for Joshua— Liam Smith (@LiamBeefySmith) December 7, 2019
Hope McCracken gets his applause now, got slaughtered after the first fight.— Liam Smith (@LiamBeefySmith) December 7, 2019
Light work. AJ & McCracken’s tactics spot on.— Frank Buglioni (@FrankBuglioni) December 7, 2019
Joshua needed to implement a stiff fast consistent jab, great footwork and hardest of all, patience. All of that in 5 months all credit in the world to him tonight was make or break for him and he performed unbelievably well done to that man— David Allen (@davidthewhiter1) December 7, 2019
Well done to AJ regaining his titles and sticking with the same team when everyone told him change etc... frustrating night for Ruiz and boring fight to watch tbh #RuizJoshua— Gary Spike OSullivan (@spike_osullivan) December 7, 2019
Roll on Jan 11th #MungiaOSullivan #WAR
Told you so mother fuckers. @anthonyfjoshua easy work— jono carroll (@jono_carroll) December 7, 2019
Are you disappointed in Ruiz or impressed by Aj,for me the latter didn’t think he could keep it up and change style but he did massive credit should go to rob mckraken for getting him in that shape— Enzo Maccarinelli (@theRealEnzoMac) December 7, 2019
It wasn’t the most entertaining way but AJ got the job done tonight. Fought a smart fight. I wish Ruiz would of let his hands go more. #RuizJoshua2— Luis Angel Feliciano (@Luis_Feliciano) December 7, 2019
Fantastic controlled performance from AJ, fair play to him proved a lot of people wrong tonight including myself. So much pressure on him to perform and he did, can’t help but admire that #RuizJoshua2— Michael Conlan (@mickconlan11) December 7, 2019
Great boxing from AJ but that ref was not trying to let them fight inside— SFJ (@coolboysteph) December 7, 2019
Very disciplined and dominant performance from Anthony Joshua— Paul Smith (@PaulSmithJnr) December 7, 2019
Fitness levels and tactics spot on I hope the ones telling him to sack McCracken are eating humble pie.
And the new! Huge congrats @anthonyfjoshua on the win tonight! Buzzing for you! 2x— Hannah Rankin (@Team_Rankin) December 7, 2019
Don’t think the weight was worth it, looked a little slower on his feet. Trainer supposedly ask him to report in Iuly, he didn’t until September. He’s set for life if he plays his cards right. But disappointing performance under the circumstances. He will get more fights tho— Ishé Oluwa Kamau Ali Smith (@IsheSugarShay) December 7, 2019
For me that’s a boxing lesson— derry mathews (@derrymathews23) December 7, 2019
Hunger in boxing is EVERYTHING!!!— George "Ferocious" Kambosos Jr (@georgekambosos) December 7, 2019
Turn it in Andy you lazy pudding, you had longer this time to prepare. Don’t blame the extra weight, nobody wants to see a 3rd fight, it stunk the gaff out— Tom Farrell (@TomFarrell89) December 7, 2019
Annnndddd thhheeeee neeeewwwwww— Luke Campbell MBE (@luke11campbell) December 7, 2019
Resilience & redemption congrats to Joshua I’m glad he silenced the critics #JoshuaRuiz2— JulianJrockWilliams (@Jrockboxing) December 7, 2019
If your moaning the fight was boring then you know fuck all about boxing— Anthony Fowler (@afowler06) December 7, 2019