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5 fights that shaped Anthony Joshua’s career

The British fighter renews hostilities with Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia.

Anthony Joshua, left, takes on Andy Ruiz Jr for a second time on Saturday (Nick Potts/PA)
Anthony Joshua, left, takes on Andy Ruiz Jr for a second time on Saturday (Nick Potts/PA)

By Mark Staniforth, PA Sport, Riyadh

Anthony Joshua faces the most important fight of his career on Saturday night when he attempts to win back his world heavyweight titles against Andy Ruiz Jr. in Saudi Arabia.

Here PA Media identifies the five most important bouts to date in Joshua’s career, from his quick and occasionally controversial amateur days to lucrative world title showdowns.

1. Joshua v Roberto Cammarelle
Baku, 2011

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Anthony Joshua, left, had a strong amateur rivalry with Roberto Cammarelle (Julien Behal, PA)

Joshua was a 21-year-old relative novice when he faced reigning world and Olympic champion Cammarelle in the World Championship quarter-finals. His stunning points win announced his arrival on the global stage and marked him out as a man to watch at the London Olympics – where he would beat Cammarelle again in the final.

2. Joshua v Erislandy Savon
London, August 2012

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Joshua, left, was fortunate to get the decision over Erislandy Savon (Nick Potts/PA)

It is tempting to wonder whether Joshua’s route to the top would have been quite so smooth had justice been served in his opening bout of the 2012 Olympics. Most ringside observers scored clearly in favour of the experienced Cuban – but Joshua squeaked the verdict by a single point and the rest, as they say, is history.

3. Joshua v Dillian Whyte
London, December 2015

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Joshua, left, recovered to beat Dillian Whyte (Nick Potts/PA Archive)

Joshua was given a stern test before avenging one of his three amateur defeats with a seventh-round knockout of Whyte at the O2 Arena. Joshua was visibly shaken by Whyte’s shots in the second round but recovered to dominate the ensuing rounds, finally stopping his opponent with a heavy right and uppercut combination.

4. Joshua v Wladimir Klitschko
Wembley, April 2017

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Joshua, right, rose to the occasion against Wladimir Klitschko (Peter Byrne/PA)

In front of a post-War record 90,000 crowd, at Wembley Stadium Joshua sealed superstar status with an 11th-round stoppage of defending champion Wladimir Klitschko.  Knocked to the canvas in round six, Joshua recovered and led on two of the three scorecards when a sustained barrage forced the referee’s intervention.

5. Joshua v Andy Ruiz Jr.
New York, June 2019

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Joshua, left, crashed down to earth against Andy Ruiz Jr. (Nick Potts/PA)

When original opponent Jarrell Miller failed a drugs test, the lightly-regarded Ruiz stepped in to face Joshua on his much-vaunted American debut. It turned into a nightmare for Joshua, who was floored four times and finally stopped in the seventh round, in arguably the biggest heavyweight upset since James ‘Buster’ Douglas dethroned Mike Tyson in 1990.

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