Joshua-Ruiz Jr set up Saudi Arabia rematch

10 Août, 2019, 19:06 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • Joshua-Ruiz Jr set up Saudi Arabia rematch

Anthony Joshua's rematch against unified heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr will take place in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia on December 7.

Ruiz Jr (33-1, 22 KOs) stunned Joshua to capture his IBF, WBA and WBO titles in one of the biggest heavyweight upsets of all time at a sold-out Madison Square Garden in NY on June 1.

Promoter Eddie Hearn had already confirmed three days after the bout that Joshua had triggered the contracted rematch clause for what he called a "must-win" fight for the 2012 Olympic super-heavyweight champion.

With the fight now set to take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, an open-air venue will be constructed specifically for the contest - after talks of the bout potentially taking place in New York's Madison Square Garden.

Joshua is not the first British star to fight in Saudi Arabia as a year ago Callum Smith beat George Groves to become the WBA super-middleweight champion and win the World Boxing Super Series.

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The rematch will be the latest high-profile boxing event to be held in the country after Amir Khan's victory over Australian Billy Dib in July.

However, the new champion made it publicly known that he did not want to travel to the United Kingdom and so the Brit's team sought a neutral venue.

"If Anthony Joshua fights Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia, it's likely to be yet another opportunity for the Saudi authorities to try to "sportswash" their severely tarnished image", he added.

Ruiz Jr eventually agreed with a neutral venue.

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