For the last few years, some have called Anthony Joshua a shell of his former self, a lost soul, someone who simply didn’t have it anymore. One performance, however, just changed everything.

After a string of losses and a few lackluster showings, Joshua (27-3, 24 KOs) had the sort of violent outing that was seldom seen from him as of late. Otto Wallin, who was coming off the biggest win of his career against Murat Gassiev, was beaten up and brutally stopped in just five rounds.

The crowd in Saudi Arabia roared, his contemporaries applauded him, and promoter Eddie Hearn is now pumping Joshua as the best heavyweight in the world.

In the background, Andy Ruiz Jr. was spotted laughing uncontrollably. The former unified heavyweight titlist sat apathetically in his ringside seat as Joshua took care of business. Although he performed well, Ruiz (35-2, 22 KOs) refused to heap a ton of praise on his muscular shoulders.

“It was an opponent he was supposed to beat up,” Ruiz told Boxing News. “Somebody that doesn’t have that much skills.”

In 2019, Ruiz reached the highest of highs before slinking down to the bottom of the division. In early June, Ruiz, who was a late replacement, stopped Joshua in the seventh round. Six months later, however, he was easily outboxed in their immediate rematch.

The pudginess around his midsection has been considerably cut since then. Ruiz has also picked up two wins in a row. The former champ is still hoping that he’ll meet up with Joshua to break their tie. Even if they don’t, Ruiz will only be willing to give Joshua credit if he steps up his level of competition and bags a big-time win.

“I would like to see him fight somebody that has a lot of skills or someone like me.”