Andy Ruiz Jr and his wife, Julie, celebrate the Mexican-American's upset of Anthony Joshua in their hometown of Imperial, California. Hayne Palmour Iv

'We're talking about a country in which there are no human rights' - Trainer shares Ruiz's Saudi concerns

Manny Robles worries for his fighter’s personal safety in Saudi Arabia, where he is officially scheduled to rematch Anthony Joshua.

HEAVYWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPION Andy Ruiz’s trainer, Manny Robles, shares his fighter’s concerns over the venue for his rematch with Anthony Joshua, which is officially scheduled to take place in Saudi Arabia in December despite Ruiz’s claims to the contrary.

Amid accusations that he and Joshua were facilitating the Saudi government’s attempts to ‘sportswash’ their abysmal human rights record, promoter Eddie Hearn said last week that Ruiz had already agreed terms on a sequel when he signed for the first fight prior to his monumental upset of Joshua in June.

Hearn has indicated that Ruiz will face a legal battle should he not face Joshua in Diriyah on 7 December, with ‘AJ’ having invoked the rematch clause in his contract following his seismic first defeat as a professional.

However, Ruiz last week seemed to invoke the advice of the US government, which advises Americans to “exercise increased caution” if travelling to the Gulf state due to the threat of terror while Saudi Arabia is at war with Yemen.

Speaking to his fans on Instagram, Ruiz said: “It (the rematch) is going to be on my terms, our terms. We’re going to bring it back here in the United States.

“Like I said, I don’t have any protection over there, so if the United States of America wants to… never mind, I can’t say nothing.

“The fight is going to happen soon.”

And trainer Robles has echoed his star pupil’s sentiment, expressing his concern for the general wellbeing of Ruiz and his travelling crew in the event that they do travel to Diriyah.

“We are talking about a country that is not democratic,” he said.

“We are talking about a country in which there are no human rights and people leave to be in a more desirable place than a country like Saudi Arabia.

What protection will there be for the champion? We cannot take our women — they tell me that it would be better if they stayed at home because over there it’s as if they do not exist. We are talking about a country where the laws are different from the the ones that we are used to.

Who will be on the plane to Japan? Bernard Jackman joins Murray and Gavan to map out the Irish depth chart. We also rank the best national anthems, and Murray sits down with Peter O’Mahony.

The42 Rugby Weekly / SoundCloud

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