Hearn: Ruiz contractually obliged to fight Joshua in Riyadh

By Sports Desk August 14, 2019

Eddie Hearn says the heavyweight rematch between Andy Ruiz Jr and Anthony Joshua will take place in Saudi Arabia despite the champion declaring it would be staged in the United States.

Matchroom Boxing last week announced the pair will step into the ring to do battle for a second time in Riyadh on December 7 after Ruiz refused to fight in the United Kingdom.

Yet Ruiz stated in a social-media Q+A that he would not be defending his IBF, WBA and WBO titles in the Middle East.

Hearn, Joshua's promoter, responded by stating that the Mexican will be heading to Saudi Arabia.

"The contract for the rematch was signed prior to the first fight," Hearn told Sky Sports. "They are both signed at the same time. There is no other contract.

"We have to let [Ruiz Jr] know the time, date and venue which we have done. That's it.

"They are contractually bound for the rematch. There are no conversations between the two teams about not doing the fight. I don't perceive a problem.

"He signed a contract with us that he was absolutely over the moon with, that gave him the opportunity of a lifetime. He will 100 per cent honour that contract.

"His choice is to have a legal battle that could put him out of boxing for years, or to defend his belts for a lot of money against a guy he has already beaten. There isn't any doubt he will take the fight."

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