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Joshua reclaims heavyweight title in Saudi Arabia

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on December 8, 2019 - Duration: 01:36s

Joshua reclaims heavyweight title in Saudi Arabia

Britain's Anthony Joshua beat Andy Ruiz Jr on a unanimous points decision in Saudi Arabia on Sunday to seize back the heavyweight title belts he lost to his Mexican-American opponent in a shock upset last June.

Jillian Kitchener has more.

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Joshua reclaims heavyweight title in Saudi Arabia

Britain's Anthony Joshua was victorious in the first heavyweight world title fight to take place in the Middle East.

Joshua beat Andy Ruiz on a unanimous points decision in Saudi Arabia on Sunday.

With the win, Joshua seized back the heavyweight world championship belts he lost to Ruiz in a shock upset last June in New York City.

Joshua reflected on that loss during a Sunday news conference: (SOUNDBITE) ANTHONY JOSHUA, SAYING: β€œAnd on June 1st I just got beat by the better man, and I just knew I belong at a championship level so the belts spent some time with me, the belts have spent some time with Andy, and I think the belts realized they wanted to be around my waist.

So they came home tonight.” Joshua meant business from the get-go… stepping into the ring lighter than ever.

Ruiz - a Mexican-American - had arrived at weigh-in in a sombrero at a staggering 283 pounds - a full 45 pounds heavier than his opponent.

He told reporters that his weight had played a major role in his loss: (SOUNDBITE)(English) ANDY RUIZ, SAYING: β€œI’m not scared of any of my opponents, you know.

If I would have let my hands go just like I did on June 1st, I think I would have won.

I would have won this fight and like I said I should have trained harder, I should have listened to my coaches more, and maybe I shouldn’t have put on all this weight that I did and I would have been more faster and I would have thrown more.

I got him hurt a few times and I let him survive, so I think that was one of the mistakes that I did.” The decision to take the fight - dubbed the 'Clash on the Dunes' - to Saudi Arabia had been criticized by human rights campaigners.

But Joshua complimented the hosts and welcomed Ruiz's suggestion that there should be a third encounter.

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