Heavyweight champ Andy Ruiz was unhappy about the idea of having to travel to Saudi Arabia for his massive return fight with Anthony Joshua, who he of course shocked, stopped and beat up to take the WBA/IBF/WBO titles back on June 1 – the fight even appearing to be in some jeopardy, at least it’s venue appeared to be in some doubt.
But now, in what was perhaps his aim all along, Ruiz has been assured a significant pay increase to fight AJ in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia on December 7th. According to a report from The Athletic, Ruiz will pull in around $2 million more than the $8 million he was initially guaranteed. Joshua, the challenger, will reportedly earn approx double the sum Ruiz will net.
Money may well have been the main issue Ruiz was unhappy with the rematch being set for Saudi Arabia, in fact the only issue. Ruiz, who wanted the rematch to take place in either Mexico, Los Angeles or New York (scene of his career-biggest win of course), spoke of “safety concerns” in having to take the fight in Saudi Arabia. But now, a rich man win, lose or draw on Dec. 7, Ruiz is reportedly ok with the venue and location of the fight.
The terms now all worked out, Ruiz now has to knuckle down in training, get himself in top shape, and prove his June win was no fluke. There have been some minor concerns in this regard, seeing as how Manny Robles, Ruiz’ head trainer, told RingTV.com earlier this week how he had expected his fighter to begin training for the return fight this Monday, only for Ruiz to fail to show up at the gym.
There is of course well over three months to go until fight night, and Ruiz, with a 12-week camp, should be in great shape. What we do not want to see is Ruiz ‘do a Buster Douglas,’ and enter the big-money fight out of shape and simply not caring one bit about it.
Ruiz will be paid well on December 7 whatever the result, yet if he can repeat his big win, the huge money he can expect to earn from big, big fights with the likes of Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury will dwarf the purse Ruiz will collect just before Christmas.
Will it be repeat or revenge in Saudi Arabia?