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Joshua confident he’ll ‘whoop’ Ruiz Jr in rematch

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Anthony Joshua. PHOTO: Al Bello/Getty Images/AFP/ AL BELLO / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

• Champ kicks against Cardiff as venue
Anthony Joshua is preparing for his rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr. in the heavyweight division later this year.

The British heavyweight is expecting the fight to be held on “neutral ground”, but he has admitted he would love to rematch the champ in Cardiff.

It is still undecided which venue will stage the rematch after the Mexican’s shock victory at Madison Square Garden in New York, although Eddie Hearn, the Matchroom Boxing boss, has suggested a final outcome will be decided soon.

Ruiz Jr has publicly voiced his displeasure at the opportunity of traveling to the UK, with Joshua remaining respectful to the Mexican’s wishes.

But the 29-year-old Brit admits home advantage could be crucial in the fight.
“You’ve got two ends of it. There’s one, I’d fight in Tijuana and Ruiz’s uncle could be the referee and I would still whoop him.

“It doesn’t matter to me where it is, there’s that aspect, but then there’s the other aspect of the British fans that have been riding with me from day one want to see me get them belts back.”

Joshua is hoping he is able to avenge the seventh-round knockout loss back in June, which was a shock to most fans in the sport.

He admits to the fans on home soil playing a part in his dominance in the sport so far, which helped him claim all the heavyweight belts except one.

“Walking out in Cardiff in front of 70, 80, 90,000 people screaming and rooting for you to win, that type of energy that goes through your body is unstoppable, and I think that could give me that little bit of edge I need to win those belts.”

Joshua insists he does not know when the rematch terms will be finalised, with dates in November and December being considered. He also was questioned about taking a warm-up fight prior to the rematch, but Joshua was not interested at all in the suggestion.

Responding to Joshua’s suggestion of Cardiff as venue, Ruiz Jr tweeted, “AJ says he can ‘whoop’ me in Tijuana prove it let’s run it in Mexico.”

Joshua earlier told Sky Sports News: “Ruiz, I’ve seen he’s done a lot of talking about what he wants, but he don’t call the shots in that sense, it’s a team effort.

“It’s fine, I don’t mind fighting him in America, I’ve done it before, and I’d love to fight here because I had no reason to go in the first place.

“I went there off my own back, so for the rematch now, I would love it to be in Cardiff, however, [if] it’s going to be on neutral ground, Ruiz is the champ, we’ll kind of make some calls as well in that situation.

“But I’m going to battle for it to be in the UK, because it’s my stomping ground. I done one out there, so let’s do the rematch here. I think it will be amazing before the year is out and I’ll definitely be having a lovely New Year’s with my family.”


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