Anthony Joshua’s trainer admits he knew heavyweight was concussed in Andy Ruiz Jr. fight

Anthony Joshua’s trainer, Rob McCracken, says he knew the former heavyweight champion was concussed during his loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. in June.

“I know him better than all these experts who virtually don’t know him or have met him once or twice so I knew he was concussed and I’m trying to get him through a few more rounds, one round at a time, and see where he’s at,” McCracken told the BBC. “‘Can he recover? Can he get back into this?’

MORE: Watch Ruiz vs. Joshua 2 plus more than 100 fight nights a year on DAZN​

“But he was glazy-eyed from when he got caught with that initial shot in Round 3 and he carried that with him up until the end. It’s a nightmare situation, pro boxing is deadly and you’re in the corner with a heavyweight not responding as he should.”

After being knocked down in the third round, Joshua could be heard on the DAZN broadcast saying, “What round is it?” and “Why am I feeling like this?”

Joshua was ultimately stopped by Ruiz in the seventh round via TKO, losing the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO belts in the process.

Ruiz was an 11-1 underdog in the fight and became the first Mexican heavyweight champion in what has come to be known as one of the biggest upsets in boxing history.

To add to an already tough situation, Joshua was also reportedly knocked out leading up to the fight with Ruiz, according to multiple reports.

He very well could have already been dealing with concussion-like symptoms even before he stepped in the ring with Ruiz which would further call into question everything surrounding this fight.

It is unclear what kind of ramifications this could have for McCracken, if any.

Joshua is set to face Ruiz in a rematch Dec. 7 in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.

Story by Thomas Lott

 

 

Struggling to locate a copy of The Ring Magazine? Try here or
Subscribe

You can order the current issue, which is on newsstands, or back issues from our subscribe page.

The post Anthony Joshua’s trainer admits he knew heavyweight was concussed in Andy Ruiz Jr. fight appeared first on The Ring.

Dougie’s Friday mailbag (Ruiz-Joshua II, Prograis-Taylor, beards)

RUIZ-JOSHUA II ANTICIPATION

Hi Doug,

How’s things?

In the anticipation of Joshua-Ruiz II, I wanna touch once more the topic of their first fight. Like many, I experienced a great shock at the night. It was so unbelievable that Joshua – who was, at the time to me, the most accomplished of the Big Three (Wilder is power, Fury is  skills, Joshua got both) – could lose to someone of Andy Ruiz’s unathletic appearance. Some thought he simply had the baddest night of his career. But what I’m wondering just now is: Was his boxing skills or the image of a destroyer with a stunning KO power simply overestimated?

I mean on one hand the wins over Klitschko, Povetkin, Dillian Whyte, Joseph Parker are without doubt making his resume the best of any active heavyweight, but on closer inspection – it is not. The thing is that Klitschko and Povetkin were already old at the time he beat them and definitely past their best days and even that they still gave him some scary fits. Dillian Whyte was such an untested prospect as he was at the time, both having no one of note in their records, and who rocked him too. And he went the distance with Joseph Parker, who was never considered a true elite and despite the huge difference in size and power, was never able to hurt him. To add to this a controversial stoppage over Carlos Takam…  And who knows if he were to meet Klitschko and Povetkin at their bests or face Dillian Whyte now, more mature and battle-tested than back then, what the outcome would be?

So, there’s a question – was he somewhat OVERRATED or just Andy Ruiz Jr was that good, whose handspeed and skills were too much for Joshua to handle?

Some Mythical Matchups of the biggest shockers in heavyweight history:

Hasim Rahman vs Buster Douglas, Lamon Brewster, Andy Ruiz

Corrie Sanders vs. Hasim Rahman, Buster Douglas

Buster Douglas vs. Oliver McCall

Michael Spinks vs. Hasim Rahman, Buster Douglas, Andy Ruiz

Regards. – Jose, Spain

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and questions on what is still the frontrunner for Upset of the Year, as well as the matchup that remains the most compelling in the sport, Jose.

I’ll answer your Mythical Matchups first:

Hasim Rahman vs Buster Douglas, Lamon Brewster, Andy Ruiz – Douglas by close decision, Rahman by decision (if he boxes a disciplined gameplan, which he could, but you never knew what version of Rock would show up – if he tried to bang with Lamon he’d get whacked out IMO) and Rahman, again, by decision over Ruiz (but like the Brewster machup, he’d have to respect Andy’s power, chin and guts).

Corrie Sanders vs. Hasim Rahman, Buster Douglas – Rahman by seventh-round stoppage (this fight actually happened in 2000), Douglas by close decision.

Buster Douglas vs. Oliver McCall – Douglas by decision (this is another fight that actually took place – 30 years ago)

Michael Spinks vs. Hasim Rahman, Buster Douglas, Andy Ruiz – Spinks by close decision, Douglas (we’re talking about Buster at his best) by close decision and Ruiz by mid-to-late stoppage.

It was so unbelievable that Joshua – who was, at the time to me, the most accomplished of the Big Three (Wilder is power, Fury is skills, Joshua got both) – could lose to someone of Andy Ruiz’s unathletic appearance. Yeah, but you can’t judge the magazine by its cover with Ruiz, there’s quality content in those pages. AJ was indeed the most accomplished of the Big Three, and he does possess a blend of skill and power, but Ruiz is not slouch with that combination himself. And Ruiz has got more than good technique and power – the happy fat man has SPEED, and there’s nothing more dangerous in the prize ring than a puncher with deceptively quick hands. As good as Joshua is, Ruiz simply does a few things better – primarily his combination punching and ability to take a good punch. That goes a long way in a shootout.

Some thought he simply had the baddest night of his career. They both did. Joshua had a bad night; Ruiz had a BADASS night.

But what I’m wondering just now is: Was his boxing skills or the image of a destroyer with a stunning KO power simply overestimated? I don’t think so. To me, Joshua was as good as advertised. Ruiz just turned out to be much better than advertised. And Joshua wasn’t ready for that.

I mean on one hand the wins over Klitschko, Povetkin, Dillian Whyte, Joseph Parker are without doubt making his resume the best of any active heavyweight, but on closer inspection – it is not. That’s boxing for ya; this has got to be one of the only pro sports where a standout competitor’s greatest victories/accomplishments can be used as examples of why he or she really isn’t that good.

The thing is that Klitschko and Povetkin were already old at the time he beat them and definitely past their best days and they still gave him some scary fits. Yeah, that’s true. Neither man was a spring chicken when he challenged Joshua, but heavyweights mature a lot slower than fighter from lighter weight-classes and those two were not your average big men. Both are Olympic champions. Klitschko is a future first-ballot hall of famer. Povetkin had only lost to Klischko and had been on an eight-bout win streak going into the Joshua showdown.

Dillian Whyte was such an untested prospect at the time, both having no one of note in their records, and who rocked him too. Somebody is likely to get rocked and somebody’s ‘O’ has got to go when two unbeaten-and-untested heavyweight boxer-punchers are matched up. Whyte got the s__t-end of that stick, but the loss probably helped in making him a better fighter. Joshua’s loss to Ruiz could make him a better fighter.

And he went the distance with Joseph Parker, who was never considered a true elite and despite the huge difference in size and power, was never able to hurt him. Hey, Ruiz wasn’t able to Parker either (and the New Zealander moved a lot on AJ, just as he did vs. the Mexican-American contender).

And who knows if he were to meet Klitschko and Povetkin at their bests or face Dillian Whyte now, more mature and battle-tested than back then, what the outcome would be? He could conceivably go 0-3 against that terrific trio in mythical matchups, but so what?

So, there’s a question – was he somewhat OVERRATED or just Andy Ruiz Jr was that good, whose handspeed and skills were too much for Joshua to handle? I think the second part of your question was true on June 1, the first part of your question will be answered on December 7.

 

PROGRAIS-TAYLOR LANDS IN THE UK

Hey Doug hope all is well.

Seeing a lot of negativity about the Prograis v Taylor being PPV in the UK but I really think this card is a treat. Five former or current champions all on one card. What’s your thoughts on the PPV (roughly 25$)?

Who you got?

I’m going Taylor late round KO

Parker points if he fights smart

Burns to brutalize Selby in great style.

Okolie to cure insomnia

Thanks. – Hammi, Dunfermlime

Always good to hear from Scottish fans, Hammi (yeah, I Googled your hometown).

Taylor and Prograis meet to decide junior welterweight supremacy. Photo by Naoki Fukuda

There will be plenty of time for deep dives on the World Boxing Super Series 140-pound tournament final between top seeds Regis Prograis and Josh Taylor on October 26, but for now, I’ll just say that it’s neck-and-neck with Ruiz-Joshua II as the scheduled fall/winter matchup that I want to see the most.

Oh, and I’ll also mention that the card is not PPV in the U.S. It’s on DAZN.

Oh, and one last thing: The vacant Ring Magazine junior welterweight championship is on the line in the main event.  

I’m going Taylor late round KO. That’s a bold call, man. I’m super high on Taylor, but I honestly can’t pick a favorite in this matchup. Your lad has advantages in height and reach and I think he’s got the edge in boxing fundamentals and footwork, but Prograis appears to have the edge in power as well as an aggressive but unique style that’s hard to shine against. I think they matchup well and are pretty much equals in the ring (especially in terms of ring IQ) until one of them proves otherwise next month. I’m gonna have to do my homework on this matchup before I make a solid pick and prediction.  

Parker points if he fights smart. Agreed. Dereck Chisora is a tough out for any heavyweight, but I think Joseph’s rock-solid chin and ring savvy/generalship (which should include a lot of lateral movement) will see him through to a hard-earned decision victory.

Burns to brutalize Selby in great style. I’m a proud fan of the Rickster but that outcome would surprise me. I know Burns has a much better resume than Selby, who made his name at 126 pounds, but I think the Welshman is more comfortable fighting at 135 and he’s likely a lot fresher than the veteran Scotsman. I hope I’m wrong, but I can see Selby giving Burns fits.

Okolie to cure insomnia. Aw, come on, Hammi. I know Okolie has stunk out the joint a couple times in previous bouts, but that doesn’t mean his matchup with Yves Ngabu is going to suck. (This matches The Ring’s Nos. 9- and 10-rated crusierweights, by the way.) If you’re not a believer in Okolie’s ability then have faith in Ngabu’s ability to make it an interesting fight. The Belgian boxer-puncher appears to be a decent combo-and-counterpuncher, and his body attack looks pretty good. I favor Okolie but I think Ngabu can make it interesting.  

 

BEARDS IN BOXING

Dear Doug,

My best to you and yours. Family is everything.

I’m wondering when boxing commissions started allowing fighters with bushy shock absorbers into the ring. I can remember not long ago when bearded fighters were required to shave before they could fight. Now it seems to me that almost every weekend I see someone with a large beard in the ring. This afternoon it was Ryan Ford from England, who was finally knocked out with a body shot.

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against beards. I own a small one myself. But don’t they give a fighter an advantage? Best. – Leslie Gerber, Woodstock, NY

I think it’s a matter of opinion, Leslie. Some trainers think a big, bushy beard will help cushion blows to the chin, while others object to them being worn in the ring because they fear that particularly coarse or wiry facial hair can scrape the face of their fighter during physical infighting.

Duran (left) challenged Hagler (right) for the middleweight championship in 1983. Photo / THE RING

Most trainers these days don’t seem to care. It seems that the more popular and fashionable beards become in everyday society, the more acceptable they are in the prize ring. It used to be that only a few notable boxers had beards (late-career Roberto Duran had his famous facial hair and Marvin Hagler had his Fu Manchu ‘stache and goatee – and both beards added to the menacing images the legendary champs brought into the ring). These days you see journeymen, gatekeepers, prospects and fringe contenders with big ole bushy beards, and most fans and boxing insiders don’t think twice about ‘em.

Freddie Roach is old school, so he often demands that the opponents of his fighters who have beards (or even long goatees, as Antonio Margarito had prior to the Manny Pacquiao fight) shave them off or at least cut them down prior to the fight. He did this with Adrien Broner when Manny Pacquiao fought the wayward Ohioan in January. Broner’s trainer Kevin Cunningham agreed that the beard had gotten fairly long. The Nevada commission rules allow for them to determine if a fighter’s hair or beard is so long that it becomes a safety concern (to either or both combatants), and they can insist on a fighter trimming their hair down to a reasonably length. Broner shaved the beard.

I noticed Ryan Ford’s beard during the Josh Buatsi fight. I don’t think it had anything to do with his durability, but I did mention to my daughter that it made his bald head resemble and ice cream cone.

There are two fighters I’ve noticed recently whose beards seem to get longer and bushier with every fight – WBC titleholder Gary Russell Jr. and former 130-pound title challenger Jono Carroll.  

 

 

Email Fischer at dougie@boxingmailbag.com. Follow him on Twitter and IG at @dougiefischer, and watch him on Periscope every Sunday from SMC track.

The post Dougie’s Friday mailbag (Ruiz-Joshua II, Prograis-Taylor, beards) appeared first on The Ring.

Ruiz-Joshua II in Saudi Arabia is far from the first controversial big fight site

It seems likely that promoter Eddie Hearn will be answering questions about placing the Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr. sequel in Saudi Arabia from now until fight night.

The British promoter, who is the main packager for DAZN spoke on The Luke Thomas show, and was asked if it is ethical to hold that heavyweight clash in that Middle East station.

“I think so, and I think we’re following in the footsteps of all those huge organzations that are staging major sporting events there,” Hearn told the host of the Sirius show. WWE, PGA, WBSS, horse racing, and F1 doing a Formula E event…He noted that 70,000 convened to watch David Guetta.

“This fight will go down in history, this will be up there with Thrilla in Manila, the Rumble in the Jungle, where major fights were held in sometimes controversial places, where huge amounts of money was generated for the fighters in an event that will go down in history. So, yep, it’s gonna come with its criticism,” he allowed…but Saudi Arabia is a “sports and entertainment destination,” for athletic contests and entertainment.

He continued; Hearn said he’s happy that this place is being opened up as a new source of eyeballs, which can help grow boxing. Fourteen million persons living right there, “70 percent of which are under the age of 24,” he shared. He is salivating, and believes that he can snag a nice percentage of them into becoming AJ fans, and boxing fans.

Hearn makes a few solid points. He doesn’t delve deeper, and remind, or tell this era’s fight fans that bringing such a spectacle to such a region is an honored and effective tradition. Mobutu Sese Seko tried it with the Rumble in the Jungle, in a bid to normalize, to show the world he and his nation weren’t so different than ours. Ferdinand Marcos in Manila tried to do the same. Of course, there are salient differences in play. For one, when Zaire and Manila welcomed Ali, they were welcoming Ali. He was the show, his persona would do more to lift the nations up, via osmosis, than a Joshua or a Ruiz could. But Mohammad bin Salman, in the same vein, would prefer reporters mention Saudi Arabia in the context of sporting events rather than more “controversial,” or darker, contexts.

Hearn has also said, in so many words, find me the super power nation free from mud strewn by moralists. Again, he’s not wrong; Americans do a fine job at wagging fingers, and not so much paying heed to the ones aiming right back at them, as they criticize foreigners for misdeeds and steps.

Now, comparisons to mega bouts from past decades don’t align perfectly. In Zaire, Ali was happy, he said publicly, to be showing off her magnetic majesty “in a country operated by black people. I wish all black people could see this. In America, we’ve been led to believe that we can’t do without the white man, and all we know about Africa is jungles…It don’t seem possible, but 28 million people run this country, and not one white man is involved…We in America are the savages,” The Greatest said in the lead to his scrap with Foreman.

Mobutu must have been grinning and chuckling maniacally, what bang for his buck. (Or his $10 million or so bucks expended for the Oct. 30, 1974 PR payoff.) Also, consider that in America, citizens were either avoiding all together as best they could, or wrestling with the unwanted reckoning that their own leadership was nothing close to pure of heart and soul. On Aug. 8, 1974, Richard Nixon had told the nation that “I shall resign the Presidency at noon tomorrow.”

Four fights later for Ali, dictator Marcos sought to offer a softer side of himself to the critics. Marcos was a slick operator, a dirty trickster that could have taught Nixon some dodgy methodology, it could be argued. He put into motion false flag events to help himself put into place martial law in fall 1972. Marcos adopted a new constitution in 1973, and scrambled to hold power.

In 1974, in his state of the nation address, he said, “Two years ago we sought to transform our nation. We established what we called the New Society. We created hope out of despair. We gave every man, woman, and child in this country not only a new hope, not only a new promise, but also a new charge, a new responsibility, a new burden.” In his 1975 address, he’d laud his nation’s low unemployment rate, as compared to America’s. And so he hit on the idea of bringing the American icon, the most gleaming of all sporting icons, to his nation, to have some of that stardust rub off onto the Philippines.

OK, so Joshua is no Ali. But the fight, which will be the most talked about prize fight of the year in boxing 2019, is a great get for Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the King, and his son, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, considered the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia. He has led many reforms within the country, and sparked controversies, as well.  The thinking could well be this: better journos talk about the “controversy” surrounding the presence of a prizefight, than other higher-grade pockmarks.

The sports’ number one all time promotional titan, Bob Arum, has himself helped bring bouts to places where political unrest is of a spicier and arguably darker tone than our version. In 1979, Arum and Top Rank staged with a South African crew a heavyweight title fight. Big John Tate would battle Gerrie Coetzee of South Africa, on Oct. 20, 1979, and NBC would televise.

Critics swarmed some and Arum answered as to why he’d be OK with bringing that event to a place where apartheid reigned.

“It’s no coincidence that shortly after the announcement of the fight, and the integration of Loftus Versfeld Stadium (scene of the fight), the government began articulating a policy to repeal the ban against interracial marriage and the recognition of black labor unions,” the savvy deal-maker offered.

“Without the fight, these policies would have been harder for these people to accept. The fight created the climate for change. It’s no accident that the original thaw in the U.S.-China situation was brought about by sending in a Ping-Pong team,” he told the Washington Post.

Arum didn’t discuss the staging of the Hearn event in Saudi Arabia when he was invited on the Everlast Talkbox podcast a week ago. But Hearn could study up on Bob’s point-making in doing rebuttal to those thinking Saudi Arabia is not a proper place to hold such a prize-fight.

Hearn, in contrast, is not as yet being met with severe blowback, as Arum was in 1979 when Jesse Jackson led a campaign to have the bout scrapped and to force NBC from broadcasting it live.

Bottom lining it, Hearn is going to where the money pot is largest. He, like Arum, is businessman first. In ’79, Arum was attracted to a new well-spring for placing bouts, he’d be placing ten more title fights in Southern Africa. He’d signed Tate to a deal in 1977, and Big John had not seen a problem going to South Africa in June 1978 to defeat SA’s Kallie Knoetze, rated No. 1 by the WBA.

“I couldn’t care less whether Bophuthatswana is an independent nation or not,” Arum said, when pressed about where bouts would land, in sections more or less so integrated.  “If the fight is bad, people won’t tune in, and if it’s good, they will. (I prefer to) let the United Nations fool around and determine whether these people (in Bophuthatswana) are puppets or not. As long as I can do business and put on a fight, politics, frankly, bores me.”

Point to Bob for authenticity, then; after Tate downed Coetzee, he offered more candid Arum speak.  He relayed that he received 40% of the live gate—after the backing hotel group deducted expenses—plus all television money. NBC paid $400,000, and another $250,000 came in from foreign TV rights. Arum’s share of the concessions brought him an additional $250,000. “Can you believe this?” he said to SI. “From just the souvenir spinoffs I make a quarter of a million. That’s more than I make on a whole normal promotion in the States.”

Maybe we should leave it there, and have that sum up the story of bringing bouts to nations with leadership that invites harsh critique inside and outside their national borders…Sharp and opportunistic capitalists are adept at looking at a Zaire, Manila or Saudi Arabia and looking past human rights transgressions, and also recognizing that the world’s political leadership pockets are filled with no angels, and instead seeing pots of gold, there for the taking.

Profit making, to them, frankly, is less boring than politics.

The post Ruiz-Joshua II in Saudi Arabia is far from the first controversial big fight site appeared first on The Ring.

One big piece is missing from the Anthony Joshua-Andy Ruiz Jr. Saudi Arabia rematch equation: The United States

Eddie Hearn doesn’t really care what you think. Nor you, or you, or what you think over there. He never has. The boxing iconoclast has done what has always been best for him—and it’s made him a lot of money and highly successful.

So, to take the anticipated Andy Ruiz Jr.-Anthony Joshua heavyweight title rematch to Saudi Arabia, where a 12,000-seat outdoor arena will be built in Diriyah, is not really that much of a reach for Hearn or Matchroom Boxing. In fact, the fight Hearn has dubbed “Clash on the Dunes,” does seem like something Hearn would do, especially when it’s attached with what the BBC reported as a $40-million site fee.

Where there is money, there is Hearn. Where there is Hearn, money follows.

It should be his mantra.

And no one should begrudge him of where it’s landed him.

In this case, Saudi Arabia.

Amnesty International has criticized the choice. Saudi Arabia is rife with human rights violations, which includes the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and bombing the tiny nation of Yemen into oblivion.

That doesn’t matter. It’s boxing. Like when the world looked away for the “Rumble in the Jungle,” held in 1974 Zaire, then under the tyrannical rule of Mobutu Sese Seko.

No one associated with this fight advocates what’s gone on in Saudi Arabia. It’s just the bromide of the entitled: They always get what they want. Or in more old-school parlance, money talks, and you know the rest. When serious money is involved, those little nuisances like human rights atrocities are simply bypassed. Heads tend to turn when stacks of money are handed out.

Joshua (22-1, 21 knockouts) lost the IBF, WBA and WBO titles after being knocked down four times by Ruiz (33-1, 22 KOs) in a monumental upset in New York on June 1.

The rematch is set for Saturday, Dec. 7. Hearn said the fight will occur at 9-9:30 p.m. London time, which translates to 4-4:30 Eastern Time and 1-1:30 Pacific Time in the United States.

“There has been a lot of talk about where this fight would be held,” Hearn said during a London press conference on Monday. “For us we wanted to go somewhere that believed in the sport of boxing, who had a vision. We have to realize there is a world outside of Cardiff and Madison Square Garden. This event could change boxing forever. You could be seeing a big change in the dynamics of the sport.

“When we realized Saudi Arabia was serious about boxing we looked into the logistical side and that blew our mind as well. Look at the events held there before us – Formula One, the European golf tour, the Italian Super Cup, WWE. It will be an iconic moment for boxing. With curiosity, the whole world will be watching this fight.”

That’s the problem.

The world won’t be watching.

DAZN subscribers who are boxing fans will surely tune in.

But in terms of cross-over mass appeal in the United States, forget it.

Fight fans around the world will be tuning in. That’s a given. What major events like Joshua-Ruiz II aim to garner are the general sports fan who wouldn’t normally be watching, that outstretched appeal the U. S. market provides.

Hearn and the DAZN wouldn’t want a piece of that?

One look, however, at the sports calendar spells it out: On Saturday, December 7th, 2019, ESPN and every other major sports network in the U.S. will be focusing on the Big 10, ACC, SEC and Big 12 college football championships—which will all be held on the same day.

It’s easy to call it “Championship Saturday,” with the Ruiz-Joshua championship rematch as an afterthought, relegated to the running scroll at the bottom of the screen.

Deontay Wilder, that famous Tuscaloosa, Alabama, resident himself, may be paying more attention to the Alabama-Georgia SEC championship game, along with countless millions, than hold any interest in Ruiz-Joshua II.

The NBA schedule is light that night with five games, sans any marquee matchup of prime teams, while the NHL has a full slate of games, highlighted by the Toronto Maple Leafs at the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues on Canada’s legendary Hockey Night in Canada.

Now if the fight took place in New York, which many speculated it would, it still might get lost under the college football deluge, but at least the timing would be better, with a more likely 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. start, avoiding any head-to-head matchup with those college football championships, which more than likely will absorb prime sports viewership in all areas of the U.S.

Ruiz still has his Latin following, though it doesn’t touch the overflow Canelo Alvarez engenders. Joshua is still a relative unknown to the general American sports fans, who, regrettably, can probably only identify two fighters today, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, while some may recognize Canelo’s face from his Tecate commercials with Sylvester Stallone.

Otherwise, most fans would, also regrettably, confuse Ruiz with Jimmy Kimmel’s Guillermo Rodriguez. If shown Joshua’s face and asked to identify him, they may mistake him for an NBA forward or NFL lineman.

Hearn told esteemed British boxing writer Gareth Davies that “I knew that when we made the decision, not every response would be positive, that there would be criticism and controversy. We had to be very comfortable because we knew there would be criticism. But I’m a boxing promoter and sometimes the criticism and the curiosity will lead to an event of an extraordinary magnitude. I knew this announcement would be met with pluses and minuses.​”

There are about 100 million pluses to the choice. But there are also a mountain of minuses with it, too, including the timing and placement that nixes the tepid interest of an important key nation, the United States, where boxing is sinking deeper, and deeper into an ever-depressing softer niche of the sports landscape.

 

 

Struggling to locate a copy of The Ring Magazine? Try here or
Subscribe

You can order the current issue, which is on newsstands, or back issues from our subscribe page.

The post One big piece is missing from the Anthony Joshua-Andy Ruiz Jr. Saudi Arabia rematch equation: The United States appeared first on The Ring.

Andy Ruiz Jr.-Anthony Joshua 2 set for December 7 in Saudi Arabia

Negotiations went back and forth for a suitable locale.

Andy Ruiz Jr. and his team threw in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Mexico. Anthony Joshua and his retinue countered with New York, England and Wales. Nobody could agree, and the last we heard was that the heavyweight rematch would be hosted on neutral ground.

Well, that’s exactly what we got.

Ruiz will defend his IBF, WBA and WBO titles against Joshua in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia on Dec. 7. Sources say the brain trust behind this event will put up $100 million – beating out main rival Dubai – to stage one of the biggest glamour division showdowns in years.

 

On June 1, Ruiz, who is rated No. 3 by The Ring at heavyweight, got off the canvas to floor Joshua four times en route to a sensational seventh-round stoppage. It was a colossal upset, but the previously unbeaten Brit had a rematch clause in place and he has elected to exercise it immediately.

News that the rematch is heading to the middle east is likely to be met with high levels of derision from fight fans. However, money makes the world go round and the winning bid is a clear indication of just how big this return fight is.

Will Ruiz repeat his epic triumph? Will Joshua gain revenge? There’s a long time to wait, but we have a date and we have a location.

The bout will be officially announced soon.

The bout will be carried by DAZN in the U.S. and Sky Sports Box Office in the U.K.

 

Tom Gray is Associate Editor for The Ring. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing

The post Andy Ruiz Jr.-Anthony Joshua 2 set for December 7 in Saudi Arabia appeared first on The Ring.

Lennox Lewis says mental problems for Anthony Joshua need to be fixed before Ruiz Jr. rematch

By Charles Brun: Lennox Lewis states that former heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua needs to fix his mental problems that led to his defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr. last June if he wants to beat him in the rematch. Former IBF/WBA/WBC heavyweight champion Lewis says that Ruiz Jr. (33-1, 22 KOs) will beat Joshua (22-1, 21 […]

Read full article: Lennox Lewis says mental problems for Anthony Joshua need to be fixed before Ruiz Jr. rematch @Boxing News 24

Arreola talks Kownacki fight, and Joshua vs. Ruiz Jr. rematch

By Charles Brun: Chris Arreola says it’s a mistake for Andy Ruiz Jr. to try and tone up his body for his rematch against former IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua later this year. Arreola says Ruiz Jr. (33-1, 22 KOs) should just focus on coming into the fight in shape for boxing, and not worried […]

Read full article: Arreola talks Kownacki fight, and Joshua vs. Ruiz Jr. rematch @Boxing News 24