Andy Ruiz knocks down Anthony Joshua in their thrilling first encounter. PA Wire/PA Images
Hold your horses

'It's going to be on my terms' - Ruiz casts doubt over Joshua rematch in Saudi Arabia

The world champion still wants to bring the fight to the USA, even though it has been confirmed for the Gulf state.

ANDY RUIZ HAS plunged his already-confirmed heavyweight world-title rematch with Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia into doubt, claiming he still intends to bring the fight back to the USA — and on his own terms.

Matchroom Boxing confirmed last Friday that the sequel would take place in the Gulf state, but neither fighter was present at a press conference formalising the announcement on Monday.

Ruiz is contractually mandated to defend his belts against Joshua, with the Briton invoking the rematch clause in the deal agreed to by both parties in advance of June’s bout.

And speaking on an Instagram live story, the Mexican-American said the fight will happen “soon”, just not in Saudi Arabia where he maintains he has no “protection”.

“I know everybody’s talking about the fight and all but we got the real news coming soon,” Ruiz told his watching fans.

“The fight is going to happen soon. I’m trying to give hope, give motivation to all my people.

“Of course,” he replied when asked if he was going to face Joshua again.

It’s going to be on my terms, our terms. We’re going to bring it back here in the United States.

‘The Destroyer’, who shocked the sporting world with his monumental upset of the previously unbeaten Joshua, also accused the former champion of being “scared”, adding: “Why do you think he’s over there trying to make the fight in Saudi Arabia?

“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.”

Boxing - Madison Square Garden Ruiz shocked Joshua and the sporting world with his sensational June victory. PA Wire / PA Images PA Wire / PA Images / PA Images

Promoter Eddie Hearn, however, did his best to dismiss any doubts now surrounding the fight and, most pertinently, its venue.

Speaking to Sky Sports, the Matchroom chief claimed his only obligation to Ruiz and team was to inform them of the time and place, and that the finer details of the deal were all set in stone since Ruiz signed his original contract in late April.

“The contract for the rematch was signed prior to the first fight — they were both signed at the same time,” Hearn said.

There is no other contract. That’s the contract. We had to let him know the time and date and venue, which we’ve done. That’s it. They’re contractually bound to the rematch, and they had some questions which they sent last night.

“There’s no conversations between the two teams about not doing the fight. They (Ruiz’s team) just read some of the comments on social media — some are ridiculous — about the fight and the venue, and just want to know some answers.

So, I don’t really perceive a problem. Of course, Andy Ruiz wants more money, he wants a private jet for his jewellery that he’s just bought since the last fight; he might want a little, I don’t know, pet poodle called Fluffy or something like that in the contract; he might want some Snickers in his dressing room and stuff like that — he’s become the world heavyweight champion! Before that he was the most down-to-Earth guy in the world; now he’s rolling around in Rolls Royces with ice all over him.

“So, he signed a contract with us that he was absolutely over the moon with. It gave him the opportunity of a lifetime. And I believe he will 100% honour that contract.”

The42 Rugby Weekly is back as we get ready for next month’s World Cup. Murray, Gavan and Bernard Jackman get us started by looking ahead to this weekend’s opening warm-up game against Italy.

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