Lennox Lewis unconvinced Andy Ruiz Jr vs Anthony Joshua II will happen in Saudi Arabia

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Matchroom Boxing, Eddie Hearn, Sky Sports and DAZN have all confirmed Andy Ruiz Jr v Anthony Joshua II is happening in Saudi Arabia.

On December 7, in Diriyah, Joshua will bid to avenge his Madison Square Garden defeat on June 1. The former champion was dropped four times in a seventh round shock.

But, despite the ‘Clash on the Dunes’ being announced, former champion Lennox Lewis is unsure the fight will actually take place at the controversial venue.

On suggestion of Saudi being chosen due to a lucrative package, Lewis said, as per World Boxing News: “Until I see both fighters signed on the bottom line, I don’t believe it.

“Maybe, but when cultivating a legacy, it’s not always about the most money.

“I wouldn’t mind seeing it in Mexico. I would think Hearn would angle for the Cardiff or Wembley. Or worse comes to worst, NYC again.” 

A press conference is due to take place on Monday where it’s understood Ruiz will not attend. Since the bout was confirmed, the heavyweight champ has chosen not to comment, which suggests he's not that happy about the decision.

Ruiz wanted home advantage for the battle in Mexico, with the US thought to be his preferred alternative.

Lewis, the three-time heavyweight world champion, feels there is too much politics involved when creating top division bouts these days.


“Seems these days some fighters are always looking for some type of extra advantage,” he said. “Be it PED’s, home crowd, ring flooring, ring size, gloves, you name it.

“Call me old school but a fighters advantage should come from work ethic, discipline, focus, sacrifice, strategy and arsenal.” 

Initially, Joshua and Hearn ruled out a return to New York, adamant the bout would take place in the UK. With Ruiz in the driving seat, the pair then decided to go for a neutral venue. 

Despite this, Ruiz is reportedly unhappy at the prospect of a Middle Eastern contest prior to the Christmas period.

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