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.


Boxing great Pacquiao wants MMA star McGregor fight next year

Updated 26 September 2020

Boxing great Pacquiao wants MMA star McGregor fight next year

  • Bout could be staged in the Middle East after the coronavirus pandemic abates

MANILA: Philippine boxing icon Manny Pacquiao wants to fight Irish mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor in the ring next year, an aide said in a statement Saturday.
“For the sake of all the Filipino COVID-19 victims, Senator Manny Pacquiao will be fighting UFC superstar Conor McGregor next year,” Pacquiao’s special assistant Jayke Joson said, adding negotiations are ongoing.
The fight could be staged in the Middle East after the coronavirus pandemic abates, the aide said, adding Pacquiao would donate a portion of his prize earnings to Filipino COVID-19 victims.
Pacquiao’s promoter Sean Gibbons earlier said in Los Angeles that the eight-division world champion was mulling a possible comeback fight with McGregor, though the two camps were a “long way” from agreement.
Earlier Friday, McGregor, 32, said on Twitter he was “boxing Manny Pacquiao next in the Middle East.”
“It will be a true honor to have faced two of the greatest boxers of the modern era,” McGregor added.
Pacquiao, 41, has not fought since claiming the WBA welterweight crown with a stunning victory over Keith Thurman in Las Vegas in July last year.
A bout against McGregor, who faced welterweight king Floyd Mayweather in a money-spinning 2017 fight, would guarantee Pacquiao another lucrative payday as he nears the end of an illustrious boxing career.
“Our lawyers are finalizing all the confidential details, but both fighters are getting ready for this one epic last boxing fight,” Joson said.
Gibbons said McGregor had shown in his money-spinning fight with welterweight king Floyd Mayweather in 2017 that the Irishman was capable of challenging “the best boxers in the world.”
Pacquiao has successfully combined a political career in the Philippines, where he is an elected senator, while continuing to box at the highest level.
“His main focus right now is to help here and there, providing relief, shelter, money and food, among other necessities,” Joson said.
The virus has infected some 200,000 people in the Philippines and killed more than 5,000.