Anthony Joshua accomplished so much yesterday in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. First and foremost, the 30 year old British superstar got the revenge over Andy Ruiz he so badly craved. Putting right the terrible wrong he suffered back in June, Joshua boxed brilliantly and smartly in the rematch, aided at least partially by the pretty poor physical shape Ruiz entered the ring in. But this is not to take anything away from Joshua. He did it, when plenty of critics said he would not be able to do it.
Now a two-time world heavyweight champion – quite astonishingly, and often forgotten, is the fact that Joshua has had such a relatively small number of pro fights; just 24 – Joshua goes into the history books. No fighter has ever managed to become a two-time heavyweight king with so few pro bouts fought. Floyd Patterson, the first man in history to regain the heavyweight crown, did it after 37 fights, while the closest to Joshua in terms of numbers is Tim Witherspoon, who became a two-time champ (alphabelt-wise) after having had 25 pro bouts.
It really is amazing, as promoter Eddie Hearn often says, how much Joshua has accomplished after having had such little pro experience. But yesterday’s triumph must be at the top of the list for AJ as far as how much the win means to him. Back on top, arguably the best big man on the planet (although supporters of Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury will no doubt disagree) and set to engage in further massive fights/events, Joshua, 23-1(21) might feel most satisfied over the way he is able to give the middle finger to his critics (as he said he would do after he got the win).
Now having boxed nine world title fights (again, amazing considering Joshua turned pro just six years ago) Joshua can look ahead to those fights with Fury and Wilder – we hope to see them anyway.
But for now, Anthony Joshua is the king of the world. Who out there doesn’t feel good for him?