Eddie Hearn on Andy Ruiz-Anthony Joshua 2: ‘Both fighters have signed’
At a press conference inside the Savoy hotel in London, Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn and Omar Khalil, Managing Partner of Skill Challenge Entertainment in Saudi Arabia confirmed that the eagerly anticipated rematch between Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua will indeed take place at an outdoor stadium in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia on December 7.
The 12-round bout will be carried by Sky Sports Box Office in the U.K. and will have an approximate start time of 9.00 p.m GMT. There was no mention of U.S. television availability during the press conference and traditional DAZN insignia did not appear on any of the poster artwork.
There were also rumors that Ruiz, the reigning IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titleholder, was not yet on board with the rematch, however, Hearn assured the assembled media that this was merely “talk.”
“Both fighters have signed for this fight,” said the Matchroom promoter, prior to waxing lyrical about Saudi Arabia’s vision for the Ruiz-Joshua sequel. Khalil echoed Hearn’s sentiments, stating that the country’s “appetite for such events is huge.”
Ruiz’s destruction of the previously unbeaten Joshua on June 1 is almost nailed-on for 2019 upset of the year. The 29-year-old stepped in at five weeks’ notice after original opponent Jarrell Miller tested positive for a three-ingredient cocktail of performance enhancing drugs. Ruiz (33-1, 22 knockouts) capitalized in style, flooring Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) four times en route to a sensational seventh-round stoppage.
Official press conferences for Ruiz-Joshua 2 will take place in Saudi Arabia, New York and London in the first week of September.
Ruiz is rated No. 3 by The Ring at heavyweight and Joshua is rated No. 4.
Tom Gray is Associate Editor for The Ring. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing