All of a sudden, it’s one of the biggest fights in boxing regardless of weight class. I’m talking about a ‘Repeat or Revenge’ match between Andy Ruiz and Anthony Joshua, and who doesn’t want to see a sequel between the two men who both played their part in lighting up Madison Square Garden this past Saturday night?
A rematch clause smartly placed into the fight contract by Eddie Hearn, the return fight is already being targeted for later in this year, in November or December. A lot could happen between now and then, of course, and maybe new WBA/IBF/WBO ruler Ruiz will either look elsewhere for another fight, or be forced to do so, via an ordered mandatory defence by one of the governing bodies behind the various alphabelts he has just acquired.
But supposing the two physical opposites do fight each other next, where should the rematch take place? Hearn wants it to be in the UK, for obvious reasons (did the whole US debut, legendary venue that played host to the true greats get to AJ?), while Ruiz, who made boxing history by becoming the first man of Mexican origin to win the world heavyweight title, wants to fight Joshua in Mexico this time. A third option could be America, maybe in Las Vegas, or maybe even New York again.
Not being privy to what is contained in the assumed long-paged document that the rematch clause comprises of, it’s tough to say how much leverage new champ Ruiz has. It might be that “Destroyer” Ruiz has no option but to fight the sequel in the UK. And as big as this rematch is, a massive stadium crowd of anywhere from 60 to 80,000 is entirely possible in the UK.
It would, though, be exciting, interesting, colourful and fresh to see this rematch wind up in Mexico, in a huge stadium there. When was the last time, if ever, that we saw a world heavyweight title fight of this magnitude take place in Mexico? September does seem to be too soon for Joshua to be able to fight again, but it would be an incredible display of guts and true championship spirit on the part of ex-champ Joshua if he agreed to fight Ruiz in Mexico over Mexican Independence Day weekend. With Canelo also fighting on the card. Okay, that’s getting way, way, way too carried away, not to mention unrealistic.
Only the Don of all boxing promoters would have either dared, or been creative enough, to have put together such an absolute mega-card.
In all likelihood, the rematch will go ahead in the UK, but we will have to wait and see. Ruiz, the new king (for now at least), should be able to have some say in where he makes his maiden title defence though, shouldn’t he?