Anthony Joshua came to win. Andy Ruiz did not.
Joshua regained his three heavyweight world titles last Saturday in a lopsided unanimous decision, avenging his June 1 loss to Ruiz which saw the Mexican-American flooring Joshua four times en-route to a seventh-round stoppage in a massive upset.
Six months later, Ruiz spent half of his time eating, partying, spending money, and not training. On the other hand, Joshua spent some time reflecting on what went wrong, but returned to the gym with a renewed vision.
That vision focused less on weightlifting and more on boxing. While the rematch was not action-packed as some anticipated, Joshua and trainer Robert McCracken devised the perfect game plan, and Joshua not only boxed beautifully, but he also came into the bout slimmer. He shed 10 pounds and clearly had better stamina.
Joshua sought advice from former rival and former world champion Wladimir Klitschko, who told the 2012 Olympic gold medalist that he needed to put down the weights, and focus on improving his technical skills.
He did just that and then some.
Joshua (23-1, 21 KO's) looked very much like Klitschko during his second title reign. Joshua stuck to the game plan, moved jabbed, and avoided taking punishment, which is exactly what boxing is all about.
Ruiz (33-2, 22 KO's), 30, of Imperial, California, did not come to fight. Period. He showed up for the $10 million paycheck.
In the months leading up to the fight, there was much speculation that Ruiz would become another Buster Douglas, a former heavyweight world champion who knocked out Mike Tyson in one of boxing's biggest upsets in 1990, and was subsequently knocked out in his first defense against Evander Holyfield after coming in 15 pounds heavier than he was for the Tyson match. Ruiz was a career-high 283.7 pounds, nearly 16 pounds more from the first Joshua fight.
FightNights.com had been informed by insiders that Ruiz's team was unhappy with their fighter because he had not been training.
Ruiz resorted to excuses.
"There was always tomorrow, tomorrow," Ruiz complained. "I should have taken this fight more seriously. Three months of partying and celebrating affected me.
"Being bigger and heavier, I thought was going to benefit me. It didn't. Being overweight, I thought I was going to be stronger. I should have trained harder and listened to my team."
Ruiz doesn't deserve the third fight. Had he trained, he probably could have won again, but it is too late now. He made his own bed.
One fighter chose boxing, the other chose nachos.