Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua focused on world heavyweight glory as they showcase skills at Riyadh public workout

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Saudi boxing fans got a sneak peak look at Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr. ahead of the much-anticipated ‘Clash On The Dunes’ bout at a public training session in Riyadh on Tuesday. (Thamer Alfuraiji)
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Saudi boxing fans got a sneak peak look at Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr. ahead of the much-anticipated ‘Clash On The Dunes’ bout at a public training session in Riyadh on Tuesday. (Thamer Alfuraiji)
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Saudi boxing fans got a sneak peak look at Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr. ahead of the much-anticipated ‘Clash On The Dunes’ bout at a public training session in Riyadh on Tuesday. (Thamer Alfuraiji)
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Saudi boxing fans got a sneak peak look at Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr. ahead of the much-anticipated ‘Clash On The Dunes’ bout at a public training session in Riyadh on Tuesday. (Thamer Alfuraiji)
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Saudi boxing fans got a sneak peak look at Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr. ahead of the much-anticipated ‘Clash On The Dunes’ bout at a public training session in Riyadh on Tuesday. (Thamer Alfuraiji)
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Saudi boxing fans got a sneak peak look at Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr. ahead of the much-anticipated ‘Clash On The Dunes’ bout at a public training session in Riyadh on Tuesday. (Thamer Alfuraiji)
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Saudi boxing fans got a sneak peak look at Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr. ahead of the much-anticipated ‘Clash On The Dunes’ bout at a public training session in Riyadh on Tuesday. (Thamer Alfuraiji)
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Saudi boxing fans got a sneak peak look at Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr. ahead of the much-anticipated ‘Clash On The Dunes’ bout at a public training session in Riyadh on Tuesday. (Thamer Alfuraiji)
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Saudi boxing fans got a sneak peak look at Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr. ahead of the much-anticipated ‘Clash On The Dunes’ bout at a public training session in Riyadh on Tuesday. (Thamer Alfuraiji)
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Saudi boxing fans got a sneak peak look at Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr. ahead of the much-anticipated ‘Clash On The Dunes’ bout at a public training session in Riyadh on Tuesday. (Thamer Alfuraiji)
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Local fighter Zuhayr Al-Qahtani from Jeddah, and known as the Arabian Warrior as well as Saudi Arabia’s first boxer, was cheered on by the locals. (Thamer Alfuraiji)
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Local fighter Zuhayr Al-Qahtani from Jeddah, and known as the Arabian Warrior as well as Saudi Arabia’s first boxer, was cheered on by the locals. (Thamer Alfuraiji)
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Local fighter Zuhayr Al-Qahtani from Jeddah, and known as the Arabian Warrior as well as Saudi Arabia’s first boxer, was cheered on by the locals. (Thamer Alfuraiji)
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Local fighter Zuhayr Al-Qahtani from Jeddah, and known as the Arabian Warrior as well as Saudi Arabia’s first boxer, was cheered on by the locals. (Thamer Alfuraiji)
Updated 04 December 2019

Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua focused on world heavyweight glory as they showcase skills at Riyadh public workout

  • A total of 12 boxers participated in the public workouts
  • Joshua greeted fans with “Assalamu Alaykum” after his workout

RIYADH: Saudi boxing fans got a sneak peek at Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr. ahead of the much-anticipated ‘Clash On The Dunes’ bout at a public training session in Riyadh on Tuesday.
A total of 12 boxers participated in the workouts, giving them a chance to showcase their skills in front of a live audience.
Held in the heart of the Information Technology & Communications Complex (ITCC), a boxing ring was set up for the event. Each boxer had about ten minutes to warm up, show off some jabs, and squeeze in a spot of extra training with their coach before the big day.
Dozens of international and local media flocked to the training session to capture footage and to hear from the boxers as they wrap up preparations for what is thought to be one of the biggest sporting events of the year.
Joshua greeted fans with “Assalamu Alaykum” after his workout, telling reporters that he was excited about the turnout and eager to reclaim his belts.
“All I’m doing is going to win. That’s what I’m focused on. I’m not really looking for anything except the win,” he said.
He also said that he didn’t think that his second fight with Ruiz would be his last.
“If he’s dedicated to the game, we’ll definitely see each other a third time down the line as well. This isn’t going to be the last time I see Andy Ruiz in the ring.
“I am forever changing, and that’s what training camp is all about leading up to the clash, I’m working night and day and to win is what I’m focused on,” the British fighter added.
American Ruiz Jr. said he had more to show the world after his shock victory against Joshua in June, as well as how happy he was to be back in the Kingdom and looking forward to the rematch.
“I did not want to show off too much, I just wanted to give out a little glimpse,” said Ruiz of the June fight.
“This is not going to be my first or my last time. You’re going to see a lot of Andy Ruiz here in Saudi Arabia,” he added.
However, although he said that he was confident that he could win again, he said he did not think of himself as having any particular advantages over Joshua despite having beaten him before.
“I don’t want to underestimate any fighter, because I respect every fighter that comes here in this ring. We all risk our lives here to provide for our loved ones.
“I’m just ready for December 7 to show all the fans a good fight. I’m just prepared to win, to use all the tools I have.”
Local fighter Zuhayr Al-Qahtani from Jeddah, and known as the Arabian Warrior as well as Saudi Arabia’s first boxer, was cheered on by the locals in the crowd as he got into the ring with his coach.
Al-Qahtani told reporters after his warm-up how happy he was to be included in the upcoming event.
“I actually met Anthony Joshua after his fifth fight and told him he would one day become a world champion and that I would fight on his undercard, so this is a dream come true,” he said.
Other boxers who participated in the public workout included Britain’s Dillian Whyte, Russia’s Alexander Povetkin, and American Eric Molina.
The “Clash on The Dunes” is part of Diriyah Season, a month-long festival of sports and entertainment, which began with Formula E on Nov. 22 and 23, and will include events such as the Diriyah Tennis Cup and the Diriyah Equestrian Festival. Tickets are available on the event’s website, as well as links to official streams of the match.


Riyadh to host inaugural Saudi international cycling race

Updated 22 January 2020

Riyadh to host inaugural Saudi international cycling race

  • This new race represents an exciting organizational challenge, a coherent sporting event for an entire category of riders

JEDDAH: Sports chiefs are gearing up to announce the Saudi city venue for a new international cycling race set to take place in the Kingdom.

Chairman of the Saudi General Sports Authority Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal is expected to reveal on Thursday that Riyadh will host the five-stage Saudi Tour 2020 from Feb. 4 to 8.

The inaugural edition of the 2.1 category race is being staged by Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), the organizer of the world-famous Tour de France.

Details of the route in and around the Saudi capital were due to be released during a press conference at Riyadh’s Digital City.

The cycling event precedes the Tour of Oman (Feb. 11 to 16) which is facing cancelation following the death of Sultan Qaboos.

ASO chief executive, Yann Le Moenner, said: “We are involved in the emergence of a new racing scene in the Middle East, which corresponds to the riders’ demand at the beginning of the year.

“The creation of the Saudi Tour and its sustainable installation in the calendar is part of this movement. This new race represents an exciting organizational challenge, a coherent sporting event for an entire category of riders, and a nice opportunity for the television viewers who follow the race to discover new landscapes.

“This is also, for us, an occasion to contribute to the development of cycling across the Kingdom,” he added.

Saudi Cycling Federation chief Sabah Al-Kraidees said it was an “honor” to have the inaugural Saudi Tour, noting that the event would help to promote the Kingdom as a tourist destination.

“The Saudi Tour is a great opportunity to publicize the country’s varied territories and historic sites and to let visitors discover our sense of hospitality. This initiative fits perfectly with the ambition of Saudi Arabia to promote the Kingdom beyond its borders through sports and especially cycling,” he added.

The five-day event will feature stages in the hills around Riyadh and on urban circuits.

The Kingdom recently began issuing tourist visas after travel to the country was largely limited to pilgrims, business travelers and resident workers.