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Arum brands Hearn ‘stupid’ over Ruiz Jr, Joshua II fight announcement


Anthony Joshua knocks down Andy Ruiz Jr in the third round during their IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight title fight at Madison Square Garden. Al Bello/Getty Images/AFP

 IBF allays fears over heavyweight title
Bob Arum has branded Eddie Hearn stupid for announcing Anthony Joshua’s rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr before the Mexican had signed a contract, reports

Since Matchroom and Joshua confirmed the rematch would take place in Saudi Arabia, Ruiz Jr has come out and insisted he has not agreed to that location.Team AJ have already faced criticism for staging the fight in a country accused of a host of human rights abuses, and Arum believes Hearn overplayed his hand.He told Villainfy Media: ‘I think Eddie Hearn showed how stupid he is by making the announcement that the fight was in Saudi Arabia before he signed Ruiz to a contract.

“Now Ruiz has him by the balls. He’s in a great position because the guy went out on a limb and announced the venue in Saudi Arabia. “Ruiz, one country in the world he doesn’t have to go to if he doesn’t want is Saudi Arabia because his own government said you’re not safe there.”


Hearn has already moved to dismiss the claim Ruiz Jr has not signed the contract, insisting at a short press conference the champion had put pen to paper on the Saudi Arabia deal.But the WBO, WBA (Super) and IBF belt holder declared to his Instagram followers the rematch would take place in America.“I know everybody’s talking about the fight and all that, but real news is coming soon,” Ruiz said.

“The fight is going to happen soon, AJ got the rematch, of course we’re taking the rematch, but it’s going to be on my terms and our terms, we’re going to bring it back here to the United States.“He’s scared, why do you think he’s over there trying to make the fight in Saudi Arabia, I don’t have any protection over there.

“I can’t say nothing, but the fight is going to happen soon.”Amnesty International has already slammed Matchroom and Joshua for the rematch deal with Saudi Arabia, while the US Department of State advises its citizens to ‘exercise increased caution’ when travelling to the region.

Meanwhile, fears that Andy Ruiz Jr would be stripped of his hard-earned IBF title have been allayed after the stringent rankings body granted him an exception if and when he agrees terms on a rematch with Anthony Joshua.The IBF, along with the WBA and WBO, was one of three straps dramatically removed from AJ in his shock June 1 loss to Ruiz in New York. Not known for their patience when it comes to stripping holders of titles (when deemed to not be meeting their mandatory challenger deadlines) the IBF will make the next man in line -Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev- wait for his chance even further.

If Ruiz was not able to honour his obligation to box Pulev then the risk was he could be stripped, leaving Pulev to contest the vacant crown. This outcome now been temporarily dismissed by the organisation.


In this article:
Andy RuizAnthony Joshua
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