Andy Ruiz Jr. vs. Anthony Joshua rematch on Nov.29 or Dec. 7 in MSG or Dec.14 in Cardiff says Hearn
By Charles Brun: Andy Ruiz Jr. vs. Anthony Joshua rematch will be taking place at either Madison Square Garden in New York or Cardiff, Wales for November 29, December 7th or 14th, according to AJ’s promoter Eddie Hearn. The November 29th and December 7th dates are for MSG in New York, while the December 14th date is for Cardiff, Wales.
Hearn says they’ll make the final decision in the next three days for the Joshua-Ruiz location. Joshua will be the one that makes the final decision for the date and location. However, Hearn says Joshua is leaving it up to him to decide. Hearn has already made it clear that he wants the Joshua vs Ruiz rematch in the UK, so that’s the likely location for the fight.
Fans have warned Joshua not to take rematch immediately
“A lot of people are saying, ‘Don’t take the rematch [with Ruiz Jr.] next. Take some tune-ups first.’ I agree with them, but this is what Anthony Joshua wants. It’s a massive risk,” said Hearn to Chris Mannix’s podcast at Sports Illustrated.
Hearn says Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) feels he has no choice but to take the immediate rematch with Ruiz, because there’s so much talk about the fight. It would be hard for Joshua to put off the rematch given the criticism that he’s received. Earlier this month, Joshua suffered a seventh round knockout loss to Ruiz at Madison Square Garden in New York.
This was Joshua’s U.S debut, and he was embarrassingly destroyed by replacement opponent Ruiz in short order. Since then, Hearn has pushed hard to have the Joshua vs. Ruiz Jr. rematch take place in the UK. The perception of Joshua needing to come back home to the UK to try and avenge his loss to Ruiz is that of a fighter that needs any help he can get to win. It’s no longer about Joshua winning over the American public, and more about saving his career. Hearn is clearly worried.
Joshua-Ruiz rematch venue down to U.S or UK
“It’s between Madison Square Garden and the UK,” said Hearn in discussing the venue for the Joshua vs. Ruiz Jr. rematch. “If he beats Ruiz at Madison Square Garden, he becomes an overnight sensation [in the U.S]. November 29th in New York or December 7th in New York or December 14th in Cardiff,” said Hearn in discussing the venue for the Joshua-Ruiz rematch. “Those three are what we’re down to at the moment.”
Hearn is going a little overboard in saying that Joshua will be an “overnight sensation” if he beats Ruiz in the rematch. It’s too late for Joshua to become a sensation in the U.S. The casual Fans saw Joshua get obliterated by a chubby fighter in Ruiz, and they weren’t impressed with him.
“Yeah, contractually we have to let people know in certain periods,” said Hearn in saying that they plan on selecting the venue for the Joshua vs. Ruiz rematch by next week.
Joshua is more popular now
“Probably five times more people are talking about Joshua now than they were before the Ruiz fight,” said Hearn.
You can argue that Joshua is more popular now in a negative sense, but not in a positive. Hearn is a little mixed up in mistaking Joshua’s negative notoriety, and believing it to be a positive thing.
Hearn: Joshua knows where he needs to improve
“He knows where he needs to improve, and I think you’ll see a completely different fighter in the rematch,” said Hearn about Joshua. “I’m not saying he wins the rematch, but you’ll definitely see a change in the rematch. I’ll be a completely different fighter,” said Hearn.
The obvious areas that Joshua needs to improve on are these:
- Using his jab
- Staying on the outside more
- Clinching when hurt
- Throwing more punches
Joshua has right to stage rematch in UK says Hearn
“AJ would be well within his rights to do the fight in the UK,” said Hearn about the Ruiz rematch. “At the moment, I can’t tell you which way it’s going to go, even though we will make a decision in the next couple of days,” said Hearn.