Eddie Hearn insists that Andy Ruiz Jr 33-1 (22) will be defending his unified heavyweight titles against Anthony Joshua 22-1 (21) in Saudi Arabia on December 7 despite claims from the Mexican-American champion that he would be “bringing the fight back to the US”.
Ruiz Jr shocked the world when he sent Joshua to the canvas four times before scoring a seventh-round technical knockout of the popular Brit at Madison Square Garden in New York on June 1.
The victory gave Ruiz Jr the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight championships.
“I know everybody’s talking about the fight and all but we got the real news coming soon,” said Ruiz via an Instagram Story chat. “The fight is going to happen soon. I’m trying to give hope, give motivation to all my people.
“Of course. It’s going to be on my terms, our terms. We’re going to bring it back here in the United States.
“It’s like I said, I don’t have no protection over there.”
But Matchroom Boxing boss Hearn has reminded the newly minted champion of his obligations under the terms of the contract he signed prior to the first Joshua bout.
“The contract for the rematch was signed prior to the first fight,” Hearn told Sky Sports. “They are both signed at the same time. There is no other contract.
“We have to let (Andy and his team) know the time, date and venue which we have done. That’s it. They are contractually bound for the rematch.
“There are no conversations between the two teams about not doing the fight. I don’t perceive a problem.
Hearn elaborated on the potential consequences for Ruiz Jr should he choose to dishonour the contract.
“He signed a contract with us that he was absolutely over the moon with. That gave him the opportunity of a lifetime. He will 100 per cent honour that contract,” continued Hearn.
“His choice is to have a legal battle that could put him out of boxing for years, or to defend his belts for a lot of money against a guy he has already beaten.
“There isn’t any doubt he will take the fight. Any messing around and Ruiz Jr will lose belts, and he won’t want to do that.
“We expect the IBF, WBA and WBO belts to be on the line.”