Last week, Eddie Hearn announced that the Ruiz-Joshua rematch was on, and that it would take place on December 7th in Saudi Arabia.
Fights fans were shocked over the location, many criticizing that announcement, some even doubting that it would actually take place out there. One of those who just joined the latter was the champ himself, Andy Ruiz Jr.
Taking to Instagram Live, the champ cast a lot of doubt on that decision.
“I know everybody’s talking about the fight and all but we got the real news coming soon,” said Ruiz per World Boxing News. “The fight is going to happen soon. I’m trying to give hope, give motivation to all my people.
“Of course. It’s going to be on my terms, our terms. We’re going to bring it back here in the United States.
“It’s like I said, I don’t have no protection over there.”
Previously, Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn had stated that the fight was a go and that Saudi Arabia would help grow the sport.
“Despite what I have read, both fighters have signed for this rematch fight. All the governing bodies have been told. It has been confirmed by both sides. The dates and venue for this event.
Hearn continued, “We wanted to go somewhere that had a vision for the sport of boxing. And we already knew Saudi Arabia was for real. They’re investing in the sport.
“We have to realize that there is another world out there outside of Cardiff and Madison Square Garden. We have an obligation to grow the sport to new areas and regions.
“This event could change boxing forever. If Saudi is going to invest in these fights you could be seeing a big change in the dynamics of the sport, which truly excites me.”
But after hearing of Ruiz’s comments, Hearn responded with a combination of promotional, pre-fight hype and a sprinkle of intimidation.
“His choice is to have a legal battle that could put him out of boxing for years, or to defend his belts for a lot of money against a guy he has already beaten. There isn’t any doubt he will take the fight.
“Any messing around and Ruiz Jr will lose belts, and he won’t want to do that.”
Ruiz Jr. understands his position and it’s obvious that he’s not going to simply agree to have his first title defense outside of the U.S. where he doesn’t have a solid (if any) fan base.
We’re sure this is just the start of the fight before the fight. We’ll continue to keep you updated.