Saturday 10 August 2019

Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr's World Heavyweight Rematch Has Been Confirmed For December 7.

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Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr's world heavyweight rematch has been confirmed for December 7.

Joshua's promoters, Matchroom Boxing, confirmed the details of the fight on Friday evening, with the bout to take place in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.

The rematch will be the latest high-profile boxing event to be held in the country after Amir Khan's victory over Australian Billy Dib in July.

The Kingdom also hosted the World Boxing Super Series super-middleweight final between British pair Callum Smith and George Groves last year.

Joshua suffered a shock seventh-round knockout to the Mexican in June in New York, his first fight outside the UK, and wants the battle for the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO belts back on British soil.

The British heavyweight had initially set his sights on Cardiff as a potential destination for the multi-million pound encounter, while Ruiz Jr has been pushing to fight in front of his home fans in Mexico.

Anthony Joshua could never have imagined that the world heavyweight championship and everything he has ever worked for would dangle precariously in Saudi Arabia but here we are, one stray punch from a disaster in the desert but also on the precipice of glory. 

There are few things more fabled in sport than the heavyweight who loses then reclaims his throne and this is the position than Joshua finds himself in, in a rematch against the underdog with a tummy, Andy Ruiz Jr, who stole his titles in a New York shock for the ages.

However, the Londoner admitted that a "neutral ground" was a distinct possibility due to those conflicting desires, and Saudi Arabia has now been announced as the destination for the bout.

Diriyah, a town on the outskirts of the capital Riyadh, incorporates the UNESCO World Heritage site of Al-Turaif.

More details of the fight will be announced at a Matchroom press conference on Monday, August 12.

Additional reporting by the Press Association.

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