Anthony Joshua was happy and relieved on Saturday to silence his critics. He recaptured the four heavyweight world titles that he so surprisingly lost six months earlier to the American Andy Ruiz.
"Sometimes the beauty is in simplicity, that was the motto today," said the 30-year-old Briton at the press conference after the fight in Saudi Arabia. "I kept it simple and that led to a brilliant performance."
"I fought today in an old school way, in the style of the 70s. Handing out and making sure you don't get hit."
Joshua had full control of the 'Clash of the Dunes' - as the fight at the outdoor stadium in Dirayah was called - but Ruiz held on until the end of the twelfth round.
The jury designated Joshua as the winner, two jury members gave him the win with 118-110 and the third entered 119-109 on his score card. Afterwards, Joshua and the American Ruiz fell friendly into each other's arms.
In June, Joshua suffered his only defeat against Ruiz in the 23 fights in his career. "I compared it to an exam. If you fail, you make sure that you prepare better for the re-exam. I knew that with my preparation and discipline I would not lose again to Andy."
Joshua hits Ruiz with his left. (Photo: Pro Shots)
Ruiz apologizes to trainer and father
Ruiz said afterwards that he was not in good shape. "I was too heavy, so I couldn't move the way I wanted. I thought I would benefit from being heavier than him, but that wasn't the case."
He apologized to his father and his coach. "I should have listened to them and train harder. I can't wait to fight again. Hopefully against Joshua, let's make it a trilogy."
See also: Joshua takes revenge on Ruiz and has world heavyweight titles back
Only title in WBC is still missing for Joshua
Joshua wanted to keep that option open, although the preference of the champion in the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO seems to be a more appealing opponent.
"I don't care who my next opponent is. I don't want to mention Alexander Usyk, Kubrat Pulev, Andy Ruiz and those other two names now," he referred to Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder. "As soon as one of them is ready, I will be too."
"You know I have fought many big names and I have defeated them all. I look forward to the next challenge."
Wilder is currently the heavyweight champion of the WBC, the only major title missing from Joshua's record.
Joshua shortly after recapturing the four champion belts. (Photo: Pro Shots)