ANTHONY Joshua may have to fight his return match against Andy Ruiz in the US after the Mexican champion ruled out having a return match in London or Cardiff saying he would rather the bout take place in New York.
In an upset that shocked the boxing world, Joshua got knocked to the canvass four times during the course of the fight against Ruiz on June 1, forcing the referee to end matters in the seventh round. In a development that completely shook up the heavyweight scene, Joshua lost the World Boxing Association, World Boxing Organisation, International Boxing Organisation and International Boxing Federation titles on the night.
However, the fight’s contract had a rematch clause in it compelling Ruiz to another face-off if he won and Joshua’s camp immediately triggered this. A few days after the fight, boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, confirmed that the rematch clause had been activated after meetings with Joshua’s team in New York and a rematch is set for London in November or December.
It is expected that the terms of the fight will be finalised this week but Ruiz has consistently pushed for the second fight to be held in New York again. Apparently, Joshua’s camp had wanted the fight to take place at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff but they may have to back down and agree to a return to Madison Square Gardens.
Ruiz said: “I’m not going to the UK for the rematch.” With him being this adamant, the two sides will have to seek a compromise that may see Ruiz taking a lesser cut from the purse in exchange for him getting his preferred venue.
Meanwhile, the heavyweight division has been thrown into turmoil after Dillian Whyte failed a drugs test before his fight with Oscar Rivas last Saturday. Whyte, who was found to have small trace levels of by-products from the anabolic steroid Dianabol, in his system, appealed the decision and in line with boxing regulations was allowed to fight, subject to his right to appeal any punishment handed out to him.