Andy Ruiz Jr. says “NO UK,” Joshua rematch in U.S or Mexico
By Charles Brun: Anthony Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn will need to get ready to pack their backs to travel to the U.S or Mexico for the rematch with newly crowned IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. Those are the two areas Ruiz Jr. wants the rematch to take place. Andy makes it clear that the second fight WON’T take place in England. He say, “No UK!”
Ruiz Jr: I’m the A-side, it doesn’t matter if Joshua disagrees about venue
It’s not a big deal where the fight takes place, as far as Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) is concerned. Joshua is flexible, and actually prefers that the Ruiz Jr. (33-1, 22 KOs) take place right back in New York City at Madison Square Garden. It’s Hearn that wants/needs the rematch to take place in the UK. You can argue that Hearn is being a nervous Nellie about wanting the Joshua-Ruiz rematch to take place in the United Kingdom so that AJ can get an advantage.
“I want the rematch to be in Mexico or New York again, Vegas or here at the Staples Center [in Los Angeles],” said Ruiz to TMZ in discussing which venue he wants for the Joshua rematch. “It doesn’t matter [if Joshua disagrees with his choice of venue], because I’m the A-side, calling the shots. We’re the A-side. It’s my time. New York, Madison Square Garden,” said Ruiz Jr. in saying where the rematch with Joshua will take place. “No UK.“
There’s no doubt there was a massive amount of controversy in Joshua’s fights against Joseph Parker and Carlos Takam that took place in the UK. Parker was unable to get near enough to throw punches due to a referee that continually pulled away from Joshua. The fight took place in Cardiff, Wales, which is one of the venues that Hearn wants for the Joshua-Ruiz rematch. Further, Joshua’s fight against Carlos Takam had a tainted ending when the referee suddenly came out of nowhere to stop the contest in the 10th round. Much to the shock of the fans, the referee chose to stop the fight, and raise Joshua’s hand. With the track record Joshua has fighting in the UK, it’s obvious why Ruiz Jr. doesn’t want to fight there.
Ruiz Jr: “I’m the A-side. I call the shots”
As a three belt world champion, it’s hard to disagree with Ruiz Jr. about him being the “A-side” for the rematch with the belt-less Joshua. Ruiz Jr. earned the right to be the A-side. His seventh round knockout victory over Joshua last June put him in the driver’s seat in the negotiations. Joshua’s boxing fans don’t like it that Ruiz Jr. is letting Hearn know that he’s the boss now, but that’s how things go. Joshua was the A-side going into the first fight with Ruiz Jr., and now the tables have turned.