Ruiz and Joshua WBO title fight set for Saturday

Eddie Hearn
Reading Time: 2 minutes

A mega heavyweight title fight is on the cards with World Boxing Organisation champion, Andy Ruiz Junior, taking on Anthony Joshua in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, on Saturday. It’s a much anticipated rematch billed as the Clash on the Dunes, after Ruiz recently stunned the Brit by knocking him out.

In their first fight, Joshua used different tactics to distract the Mexican-American but it was not enough as the former British champion lost the fight. This time around, Ruiz Junior is more than prepared for the tactician.

“I think it all depends on how he turns out, how he comes out at first. I don’t know if he’s going to want to box me around, try to win me by points, but you best believe of course I’m going to be attacking. I’m the pressure fighter, I’m the attacker. So, best believe I’m going to be the one trying to look for that knockout and try to get that KO,” says Ruiz.

The fight’s promoter, Match Room’s Eddie Hearn, has defended the choice of Saudi Arabia to host to the fight. He denied that he was engaging in “sports washing” after consistent criticism of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record from organisations such as Amnesty International.

“I think there’s a lot of hypocrites out there. I mean, there’s a lot of major broadcasters that are backing this event. A lot of media is here to cover the event to try and get views. For me, it’s about delivering for my fighter and delivering for my client. And also understanding that every promoter in the world has been trying to stage a mega fight in this region for a long time,” says Hearn.

Ruiz produced one of boxing’s biggest upsets when he dethroned the previously undefeated world champion Joshua with a seventh round stoppage at New York’s Madison Square Garden in June.