Saudis accused of 'sportswash' by hosting world heavyweight fight

  • Saudis accused of 'sportswash' by hosting world heavyweight fight

Saudis accused of 'sportswash' by hosting world heavyweight fight

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.

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.

The decision hasn't gone done well with boxing fans this side of the pond, with many of them slamming Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn on Twitter.

The questions over the rematch, which was always likely to happen because of a clause in the contract from the first fight, were initially because of the location.

Ruiz Jr. knocked Joshua down four times in seven rounds in their June 1 meeting to claim three of the four recognized world heavyweight titles in a momentous upset.

"It's my stomping ground, I went out there so let's do the rematch here, and I think it will be wonderful before the year is out and I'll definitely be having a lovely New Year with my family".

'When it looks easy, they never truly respect what it is you are trying to achieve'.

"There's other terms that need to be met to finalise the fight".

"What makes it more important is how I prepare for this fight".

'The goal for that fight was, 'what is he doing next?', it wasn't exclusively on winning that fight.

'So beating Ruiz, I could be sitting here now and it wouldn't have meant as much to me as it is to train for the rematch. And I would say Ruiz was ready to be taken out.

The bout, dubbed "Clash on the Dunes", will see Britain's Joshua trying to reclaim the International Boxing Federation, World Boxing Association and World Boxing Organisation titles he sensationally lost to American Ruiz in NY in June.

Khan said he did not regret agreeing to the trip despite Amnesty International describing the Saudi human rights record as "abysmal", adding that the nation is in the "grip of a sweeping crackdown against critics of the government".

Asked if that got to his head, Joshua replied: 'Correct.

"But its fine, I don't mind fighting in America as I've done it before and I'd love to fight here because I had no reason to go there in the first place".