WBA/IBF/WBO heavyweight champ Andy Ruiz is standing firm: he does not wish to, and he will not, fight Anthony Joshua in the UK when the two collide in a fascinating ‘Repeat or Revenge’ rematch of the June 1 fight that saw the Mexican/American “Destroyer” score a monster upset and stop the British star in the seventh-round.
Speaking with TMZ Sports, Ruiz let his demands be known:
“I haven’t talked to him, but I’m pretty sure he’s training hard for the rematch and so am I,” Ruiz said of Joshua. “I want the rematch to be in Mexico or New York City again, Vegas, or here [in Los Angeles]. It doesn’t matter (if Joshua says no to each venue) because I’m the champion – I’m calling the shots. We’re the A-side. No UK.”
If Ruiz absolutely, positively refuses to budge regardless of the possibility of making more money by agreeing to fight in the UK, at a huge stadium that would almost certainly sell-out, it would be a big blow for promoter Eddie Hearn. Hearn wants the rematch in the UK, for a number of reasons: the biggest one perhaps being the fact that AJ really did appear to go to pieces before the fight in New York, his U.S debut.
Joshua, according to Hearn, actually does have a desire to try and gain revenge in New York, and the former champ would get major plaudits for agreeing to fight Ruiz in the same city that saw him lose for the first time as a pro; even more so if he could win the return fight. And it may well be that Joshua has to travel again before the end of the year.
Ruiz really does seem set, his mind made up: it’s either the U.S or Mexico for the huge heavyweight rematch that absolutely everyone wants to see. The question has of course been asked – can Joshua beat Ruiz wherever the second fight is held? Does Ruiz simply have Joshua’s number? We will find out soon enough, it’s just a case of where the fight goes down.