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Work begins on 15,000 seat stadium for Ruiz, Joshua rematch

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(L to R) Mexican-American heavyweight boxing champion Andy Ruiz Jr, Saudi Arabia’s General Sport Authority chief Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz, and British boxing challenger Anthony Joshua pose for a picture together during a press conference ahead of the upcoming “Clash on the Dunes” fight between Ruiz Jr and Joshua in December, in Diriya on the western outskirts of the Saudi capital Riyadh on September 4, 2019. – The “Clash on the Dunes” is scheduled to take place in Diriya on December 7. (Photo by Fayez Nureldine / AFP)

Construction has begun on the 15,000-seater stadium, which will host Anthony Joshua’s blockbuster rematch against Andy Ruiz Jnr in Saudi Arabia in just less than eight weeks’ time, reports dailymail.co.uk.

The heavyweights will renew their rivalry on December 7 in a Gladiator-style, three-sided temporary venue in Diriyah.

The Diriyah Arena is being built especially to host the high-profile rematch and work has now begun on its construction with little under two months to go until fight night.

Despite only having a short window, there appear to be few concerns about whether or not the stadium will be finished in time, besides some fans.

Currently, there is little more than ground being cleared and the first foundations being struck.

Matchroom released footage of the bare construction site yesterday – highlighting the scale of work to be done over the next 52 days before the fight.

The foundations of temporary stands were seen on one side of what is set to be the ring, with a large shell of what appears to be the stage area housing changing rooms, VIPS and TV studios opposite.

A small section of temporary seating has also started to be put up – but with the clock ticking, organisers seemingly face a huge task to complete the job.

However, the construction timeframe for a temporary stadium is minimal and they can often be built without a foundation or level ground.

A digital rendering of the unique stadium was revealed earlier this month in a video posted online by Matchroom, who are anticipating a full house for December 7’s fight.

Joshua will be looking to regain the world titles he surrendered to Ruiz Jnr in their first encounter back in June when they face off in Saudi Arabia.

Tickets for the world title clash went on sale this week. Cheaper seats cost £105 while VIP packages are available for £10,600 – which includes a chauffeur service and private entrances.


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