Sport

Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr. rematch official

Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr. rematch official”

Anthony Joshua's world heavyweight title rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr will take place in Saudi Arabia on December 7, his promoters Matchroom have announced.

Hearn had previously talked up the Principality Stadium in Cardiff as the leading contender to host the rematch, but Ruiz Jr has recently expressed reservations about coming to the United Kingdom for the rematch.

The decision to take the fight to Saudi Arabia comes as a surprise. Ruiz, a huge underdog, overcame a third-round knockdown that night, dropped Joshua four times and won by seventh-round TKO to pull off boxing's biggest upset since Hasim Rahman knocked out Lennox Lewis in their April 2001 heavyweight title fight in South Africa.

Hearn expected the decision on the date and location to be set by the first few days of July, but it dragged out for weeks as groups from other locations began offering deals to bring the fight elsewhere. Also, by going to a neutral location, it soothes Ruiz (33-1, 22 KOs), 29, of Imperial, California, and the first fighter of Mexican descent to win a heavyweight world title.

"And I wanna add to what I have, so that when I go to fight Ruiz in the rematch - he's gonna assume that was the best Anthony Joshua in the ring".

In turn, Joshua likely wouldn't have wanted the fight to take place in the United States or Mexico for the same reason.

A return to Madison Square Garden - the scene of the June 1 upset - means a return to the USA is off the table after Joshua's disastrous debut.

Venues in Qatar and Dubai are also said to be in the mix as the Middle East looks to land a super fight after hosting the World Boxing Super Series final between George Groves and Callum Smith then Amir Khan's clash with Billy Dib.



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