Andy Ruiz Jr promises to ‘make history again’ in Saudi Arabia clash with Anthony Joshua

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Reigning world heavyweight boxing champion Andy Ruiz Jr. said on his arrival in the Kingdom that he will “make history again” in Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)
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Reigning world heavyweight boxing champion Andy Ruiz Jr. said on his arrival in the Kingdom that he will “make history again” in Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)
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Reigning world heavyweight boxing champion Andy Ruiz Jr. said on his arrival in the Kingdom that he will “make history again” in Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)
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Reigning world heavyweight boxing champion Andy Ruiz Jr. said on his arrival in the Kingdom that he will “make history again” in Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)
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Reigning world heavyweight boxing champion Andy Ruiz Jr. said on his arrival in the Kingdom that he will “make history again” in Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)
Updated 26 November 2019

Andy Ruiz Jr promises to ‘make history again’ in Saudi Arabia clash with Anthony Joshua

  • Ruiz is laying his WBO, IBF, WBA and IBO belts on the line in Saudi Arabia
  • Fight will be held at the custom-built 15,000 capacity Diriyah Arena in Riyadh

RIYADH: Reigning world heavyweight boxing champion Andy Ruiz Jr. said on his arrival in the Kingdom that he will “make history again” when he faces Anthony Joshua in the “Clash on the Dunes” on December 7.

The Mexican-American fighter, who arrived a day after his opponent Joshua, is laying his WBO, IBF, WBA and IBO belts on the line in the first world heavyweight title bout in the Middle East, which will be held at the custom-built 15,000 capacity Diriyah Arena in Riyadh.

When asked about being one of the first boxers to fight in the Kingdom, Andy Ruiz said: “It feels good. You know I made history in New York and I’ll make history again in Saudi Arabia.”

And speaking to Arab News during a visit to the Kingdom in September, Ruiz said: “I’m feeling really blessed being over here, it’s something different. A lot of people were saying there was a lot of political stuff and all that, but to tell you the truth it’s a lovely place, a beautiful place, a place of history.

“I’m part of history now, and I’m gonna make history here. Having a big fight in a big venue in Saudi Arabia, it’s amazing.”

With hundreds of fans from across the US making the journey for the bout, they will have traveled significantly further than fans from the 60 different countries where tickets have been sold. But Ruiz fans will have their work cut out to match the volume of Joshua’s followers, with thousands of UK fans reported to be flying to Saudi Arabia.

Joshua will be looking to regain the title belts on the line after losing them to Ruiz – known as ‘The Destroyer’ - at their first match in New York earlier this year.

A world class undercard of fighters will also be the competing ahead of the main draw, with Alexander Povetkin facing Michael Hunter and Filip Hrgovic fighting Eric Molina.

The Clash On The Dunes forms part of the Diriyah Season, a month of sporting events, which kicked off with Formula E at the weekend, and also includes the Diriyah Tennis Cup featuring eight of the best men’s players on the planet, and the Diriyah Equestrian Festival, an elite competition with Tokyo Olympics 2020 qualifying points on the line.


Runners step back in time on AlUla’s historic trails

Updated 19 February 2020

Runners step back in time on AlUla’s historic trails

  • Top-ranked athletes came from Saudi Arabia, the US and the Netherlands

ALULA: More than 260 athletes from around the world took part in the recent EcoTrail AlUla, a multi-track running race through the dramatic landscapes of AlUla in Saudi Arabia’s northwest.
Top-ranked athletes came from Saudi Arabia, the US and the Netherlands. The race was staged as part of the second season of the Winter at Tantora festival, organized by the Royal Commission for AlUla to promote the historic site as an exceptional tourist destination for heritage, arts, culture and sports.

Events took place on three different courses — an 83 km track, followed by a 45 km and a 10 km track — with international athletes taking part in each of the races.

In the 10 km course, 139 contestants took part in the competition, with 125 managing to complete the run. Saudi runner Mohammed Madkhali won first place, while Yemeni runner Fares Aman Aldin came in second and another Saudi runner, Meshari Almuhanna, finished third.

In the women’s category, US runner Meredith Byrne won first place, Saudi runner Sarah Abdullatif came in second, and British runner Maureen McConnell finished third.

Ninety athletes took part in the 45 km race, with 85 finishing. Saudi runner Abdulaziz Al-Ghamdi came in first, with Australian Matthew Sudich second and French runner Nicholas Mordelet in third.

In the women’s category, Dutch runner Floortje Rawee came in first, followed by Italian Alessandra Grassi in second and American Natasha Turak third.

The 83 km race featured 37 athletes with only 17 finishing. In the men’s category, US runner Michael Wardian finished first, followed by Pierre Breuer from Belgium in second and Malaysia’s Soonseng Ong third.

In the women’s category, Amy Sproston from the US ranked first, with Ruth Theresia from Indonesia second and American Rachel Bessette third.

EcoTrail AlUla attracted athletes from around the world, most notably the US, UK, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Sweden, the UAE, Malaysia, Singapore, Jordan, Oman, Peru, Poland and Indonesia.

The one-day trail gave visitors the opportunity to become acquainted with AlUla and its distinctive natural, cultural, architectural and historical monuments. The trail is an eye-catching destination for running enthusiasts and jogging clubs, and will encourage people to visit AlUla and Saudi Arabia to take part in a global sporting event that promotes environmentally friendly principles and initiatives.

The race contained several medical care stops and catering stations, and each participant received a number in addition to a welcome gift and a shirt. An inaugural dinner was held to welcome contestants on the night before the race.

EcoTrail AlUla is the first race to occur in the Middle East and one of the most notable sports events of this year’s Winter at Tantora festival. The race was sponsored by STC, Almarai Company, Sabeeka Energy Bar, Whites, and Hussak Adventures. The festival’s latest season also provides a wide range of diverse experiences that meet the needs of all visitors and entertain all tastes, for individuals, groups or families from all walks of life.

The festival began on Dec. 19 and will run until March 7, 2020. Guests of the second season of this year will be able to visit the astonishing historical and heritage sites exclusively, and attend the international musical and artistic performances.