Ruiz Plays Oliver Twist, Demands More Purse for Rematch with Joshua

Ruiz Plays Oliver Twist, Demands More Purse for Rematch with Joshua

"Sources tell The Athletic Andy Ruiz Jr. isn't expected to sign off on the rematch in Saudi Arabia unless he's guaranteed a significantly higher purse than the approximately $9 million he's guaranteed to fight Anthony Joshua again".

"In the build-up to AJ's shock defeat back in June, the 6'6" fighter weighed in at a whopping 247.8 pounds.

Underdog champion Ruiz refused to travel to the United Kingdom to rematch Joshua, voicing concerns after Dillian Whyte was cleared to box Oscar Rivas last month despite an "adverse finding" in a pre-fight drug test.

Joshua's former titles, the WBA "Super", IBF, WBO and IBO world heavyweight titles, now in the possession of Ruiz, are on the line.

The rematch had been widely touted but Cardiff's Principality Stadium was tipped as favourite to stage the event.

Ruiz Jr vs Joshua II was booked a matter of days after the latter's unsuccessful American debut at Madison Square Garden, though the venue was only announced on Friday evening.

Promoters Matchroom Boxing said the fight details will be officially revealed at a news conference in London on Monday.

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"Despite some long-overdue reforms on women's rights, Saudi Arabia is now in the grip of a sweeping human rights crackdown - with women's rights activists, lawyers and members of the Shia minority community all being targeted".

"I've got to sit down with my team and see what's going on really, but as of right now, they can say we're fighting December 7 - they can say we're fighting next week but nothing's been confirmed".

In February, they hosted a first European Tour golf event which was won by former world number one Dustin Johnson while the world's most gruelling motor sports race, the Dakar Rally, will be raced in the country in 2020.

Saudi Arabia recently hosted the Amir Khan v Billy Dib boxing match, while previously did the same for Callum Smith v George Groves but hosting the much-anticipated heavyweight title rematch represents their biggest combat sports coup to date.

Khan said he did not regret agreeing to the trip, despite Amnesty describing the Saudi Arabian human rights record as "abysmal".

Khan was reportedly paid £7 million to headline the event. "Women were out driving", Khan said.

Joshua appeared to shed some light on the unlikely venue shortly after the fight announcement, hinting the fact Saudi provides neutral ground played a factor in the booking. "I think they're trying to change now".

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