Hearn says Joshua will pick location for Ruiz Jr. rematch


By Tim Royner: Anthony Joshua will be using his rematch clause in his contract with Andy Ruiz Jr. to make the second fight with the American later this year likely in November. According to ESPN, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn says AJ has the final say so for the location of the fight.

Joshua triggered his contractual rematch clause on Tuesday for a second fight with Ruiz. Joshua had 30 days to decide whether he wanted to take the rematch with Ruiz Jr., but he made the decision quick after meeting with Hearn, trainer Rob McCracken and the rest of his training team. 

The advantages for Joshua fighting at home

AJ seems more comfortable fighting at home in the UK. Joshua wasn’t with it last Saturday night at Madison Square Garden without a monstrous pro-Joshua crowd cheering his every move. There was a lot of Joshua fans estimated at over 8,000 at MSG last Saturday, but that pales in comparison to the football stadium crowds that Joshua routinely brings in when fighting in the UK. If the rematch does take place in the UK, hopefully there’s premature stoppages or a referee that prevents inside fighting like we’ve seen in the past in some of Joshua’s fights. 

Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) was knocked out in the 7th round last Saturday night by underdog Ruiz Jr. at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Hearn states he prefers that the rematch take place in the UK. This is obviously won’t make Ruiz Jr. (33-1, 22 KOs) happy, because he wants the rematch to take place in Mexico or the United States. Ruiz feels that as the new IBF/WBA/WBO unified heavyweight champion, he should be the one that makes the decision where the fight will take place. Hearn has other ideas. 

Hearn: The rematch makes sense to take place in UK

“We have to look at everything. The people at DAZN [the U.S. broadcaster] and Madison Square Garden would like to do Part 2 in the U.S. Joshua came to Andy Ruiz’s country for the first fight, so it kind of makes sense to the second fight in the U.K,” said Hearn to ESPN.com.

With Joshua’s career on the line, you can understand the need for the rematch with Ruiz to be staged in the United Kingdom. Joshua wasn’t the same fighter last Saturday night at Madison Square Garden that he’s been in the past when fighting in the UK.

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