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Arum: Joshua's Performance Against Ruiz 'Was A Joke'

NEW YORK – Anthony Joshua did what was necessary to win back his heavyweight titles.

That’s about the only positive thing Hall-of-Fame promoter Bob Arum could find to say about Joshua’s victory over Andy Ruiz Jr. in their immediate rematch Saturday night in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. A safer, slimmer Joshua jabbed, moved and out-boxed Ruiz on his way to convincingly avenging his seventh-round, technical-knockout defeat in their first fight six months earlier at Madison Square Garden.

Joshua has drawn criticism for the cautious approach he took to their heavyweight championship rematch, even though he won by big margins on all three scorecards (119-109, 118-110, 118-110). Arum was among those that wasn’t especially impressed by the British superstar’s performance.

“I thought it was a joke,” Arum told prior to a press conference Wednesday at Madison Square Garden to promote the Terence Crawford- Egidijus Kavaliauskas card Saturday night. “He did what he had to do to win, but there are 15 heavyweights that you can think of who would’ve been in with Ruiz Saturday night and done the same thing.”

joshua-ruiz-rematch (15)

England’s Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) rarely exchanged with Ruiz (33-2, 22 KOs), the huge underdog who knocked down Joshua four times on his way to scoring one of the biggest upsets in boxing history June 1 in New York. The 88-year-old Arum wasn’t particularly surprised Joshua competed cautiously throughout their second encounter, considering how imperative it was for the 2012 Olympic gold medalist merely to win back his IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO titles.

“He’s in there to win the fight, so he’s gonna do it the easiest way possible,” Arum said. “And the only way that he could possibly lose that fight is if he traded with Ruiz and got caught.”

Reclaiming his titles probably will lead the 30-year-old Joshua to facing Kubrat Pulev, an opponent Arum’s company co-promotes, in his next fight. Bulgaria’s Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs) is the mandatory challenger for Joshua’s IBF title.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by Sid-Knee on 12-17-2019

[QUOTE=NoConcoms;20251474]Son, do you want to get Zellenoff'd? Haha. Calling Deontay a coward. Well tough guy, who have you fought? Other than your own brother, to see who could bang your sister? F.A.C.K. THE UK!!!!!! Why did we bother saving these…

Comment by MastaBlasta on 12-13-2019

[QUOTE=Roberto Vasquez;20252542]But he never went all out and chased him. If I was Ruiz I would have faked being stunned and on wobbly legs then caught AJ when he came in. No way could AJ resist that temptation.[/QUOTE] I agree…

Comment by Lopez_Boxing on 12-13-2019

[QUOTE=MastaBlasta;20251323]I disagree. Andy wasn't ready to fight. period. If he had gotten himself ready he has the footwork, chin, handspeed, power, and gonards to do just what we saw the first fight. AJ didn't lay down in round 1 of…

Comment by Monty Fisto on 12-13-2019

[QUOTE=Real King Kong;20251442]Well it was more impressive than fury’s performance vs Otto wallin.[/QUOTE] Don't cloud the issue with facts.

Comment by micky1971 on 12-13-2019

What a complete and utter dumb kuntox! He and we know Ruiz deffo packs a punch AND has quick hands. Hmmm, what would one do to win I wonder? Maybe, just maybe the plan was not to trade big shots?…

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