Unified heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr 33-1 (22) has agreed to terms for his rematch against former champion Anthony Joshua 22-1 (21) in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia on December 7.
The IBF, WBA and WBO titleholder initially held out on the fight, citing the lack of a local boxing commission and concerns for his safety in the Middle East sovereign state. But promoter Eddie Hearn sweetened the deal by reportedly offering Ruiz Jr and additional $1 million on top of his $9 million purse guarantee.
Saudi Arabia is believed to have put up a $70 million bid to secure the fight.
Ruiz Jr announced the news on social media.
“I’m excited to announce my rematch with Anthony Joshua. In the first fight I made history and became the first ever Mexican/American heavyweight champion of the world,” Ruiz Jr posted.
“I am grateful to Saudi Arabia for inviting me. I took it to AJ in The Big Apple and I’m looking forward to ending his career in the Desert. Don’t miss this fight!
“Mostraré la grandeza del boxeo mexicano en Arabia Saudita y en todos los rincones del mundo. Viva Mexico!!!” (Translation: “I will show the greatness of Mexican boxing in Saudi Arabia and in every corner of the world. Viva Mexico!!!”)
It was earlier reported that Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing had filed a lawsuit against Ruiz Jr in the New York Southern District Court to enforce the rematch, which was part of the original contract for the first Joshua-Ruiz Jr fight.
In that bout Ruiz Jr shocked the world by decking Joshua four times en route to a seventh-round knockout win over the previously undefeated Brit at New York’s Madison Square Garden in June.
Ruiz Jr was a massive underdog after entering the fight on six weeks’ notice as a late replacement for Jarrell Miller.