Joshua executes perfect plan while Ruiz Jr is left to make excuses

Anthony Joshua executes the perfect game plan while Andy Ruiz Jr is left to make excuses after Clash on the Dunes

  • Anthony Joshua proved he has learned from past mistakes against Andy Ruiz Jr
  • The Briton thoroughly deserved his unanimous points win over the Mexican
  • Ruiz remained dangerous throughout and AJ’s concentration was put to the test
  • Joshua will never again underestimate an opponent because of their appearance

Never mind the excuses being thrown out by Andy Ruiz. Anthony Joshua deserves great credit for executing the perfect game plan on Saturday and coming through the biggest lesson of his boxing career.

Don’t be fooled by Ruiz saying he didn’t prepare properly. This guy is not an idiot. He has bags of experience and he came in looking to be heavy, as he believed that would work.

There were still lots of experts expecting Ruiz to beat Joshua. They doubted Joshua had the mental strength and discipline to see this type of fight through. Joshua proved them wrong.

Anthony Joshua showed commendable discipline and mental toughness to beat Andy Ruiz Jr

He stayed behind his jab, came out on an angle and stepped left to right, negating the hooks Ruiz had used so effectively in the first fight. The temptation for him throughout his career has always been to get involved in heavy exchanges, that’s what cost him in June. But this needed a different mindset.

There were a few scares when Joshua nearly deviated from the plan. You could see in the seventh round he was a little flat-footed and in the eighth he was getting lured in before he must have thought, ‘S***! I’ve got to step out of here’. Then he got back to it, switched on and saw the job through.

Now, like Floyd Patterson, Muhammad Ali and Lennox Lewis, Anthony Joshua has won an immediate rematch for the heavyweight title.

Make no mistake, Ruiz Jr was still very dangerous despite carrying excess weight

That’s great for his legacy but, more importantly, Joshua will never underestimate a fighter again… no matter what they look like.

Oleksandr Usyk is the mandatory challenger, a dangerous guy I believe can dominate the heavyweight division in the long-term. He is a chess player and he will be formulating a plan now to dismantle Joshua.

Indeed, all the challengers will be licking their lips, thinking Joshua is vulnerable. But those who have mocked his downfall are silly. They should be grateful, as this is the guy who brought the big money to the division.

They should be wary, too, because what we saw on Saturday night tells us he has the appetite to emerge a smarter and sharper boxer who won’t give up his belts as easily again.

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