Joshua-Ruiz rematch set for December 7 in Saudi Arabia

Image PA

Image PA

The rematch of the biggest heavyweight boxing shock in a generation, Anthony Joshua versus Andy Ruiz Jr., has officially been announced to take place in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, on December 7.

After stepping in on short-notice, Ruiz Jr sensationally stopped the British heavyweight to claim the IBF, WBO and WBA titles back in June. Diriyah is a town on the outskirts of Riyadh, the Saudi Arabian capital.

Saudi Arabia has been ramping up its efforts to stage major sporting events, recently hosting British boxer Amir Khan's win over Billy Dib and Callum Smith's triumph over George Groves in September's final of the World Boxing Super Series.

Ruiz, an American, had insisted that the rematch take place back in the USA or at a neutral venue.

The Kingdom also hosted the World Boxing Super Series super-middleweight final between British pair Callum Smith and George Groves a year ago.

After being knocked down four times he was stopped in the seventh round on his USA debut, marking one of the biggest upsets in heavyweight history.

The move comes after Ruiz ruled out making the first defence of his titles in the United Kingdom, while Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn said a return to the USA, which hosted the first fight in June, was unlikely.

The Principality Stadium in Cardiff was originally touted as a possible venue for the rematch but it now looks as though both men are heading to the Middle East.

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