Anthony Joshua is getting his rematch. After surprisingly losing the heavyweight title to Andy Ruiz Jr. in June, Joshua will get a chance to win back the title in December. The fight is expected to take place in a new arena in Saudi Arabia on Dec. 14.
Ruiz, however, isn’t on board with that. The 29-year-old Ruiz said Tuesday that he wants to bring the rematch to the United States, according to ESPN.
Problem is, the fight has already been announced by promoter Eddie Hearn, and there’s not much Ruiz can do about that.
Ruiz signed a deal that allowed Joshua’s team to pick the location, date and many other details of the rematch. This is not uncommon in boxing, according to ESPN.
As is typical in boxing, when a non-mandatory challenger receives a title shot, he almost always has to agree to a rematch clause and pre-determined terms for that rematch in the event that he wins. So, in his initial agreement, Ruiz's purse for a potential rematch in case he won was already specified — around $9 million, according to sources — as was the acknowledgement that Joshua's side would control the event, meaning the site, the date, the location, any broadcast deals, etc.
Ruiz could choose not to fight, though he would face repercussions if he goes down that road. If Ruiz is inactive for too long, he risks forfeiting the title.
While Ruiz would prefer to fight in either the United States or Mexico, it doesn’t appear he’s going to get his way. Hearn confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday that the fight will “absolutely” take place in Saudi Arabia.
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