NEW YORK – It’s not that Andy Ruiz Jr. wouldn’t have fought Anthony Joshua in England or Wales under any circumstances.

Ruiz just would’ve needed more money than he’ll earn for their immediate rematch to have afforded England’s Joshua the complete home ring advantage the former heavyweight champion wanted. The new IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO champion told on Thursday that he would’ve agreed to London or Cardiff as the site of their rematch had Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, met his asking price.

“I would’ve been there,” Ruiz said following a press conference in Manhattan. “If the number would’ve been right, I would’ve been there and I would’ve given him the chance. There’s no reason to be hiding [from his] country. He came all the way over here. I would’ve gone back over there, but they made it in Saudi Arabia. So, I think that was a fair choice.”

Hearn took their rematch to Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, in part because Ruiz’s team insisted that it take place in neutral territory. A site fee reportedly in excess of $40 million obviously made Saudi Arabia an attractive alternative to the UK as well.

“We were negotiating,” Ruiz said. “I would fight wherever, man. The fighter’s gonna fight wherever. But it’s just the team, where they’re gonna negotiate and whatnot. I don’t think that’s my business to be saying, ‘You know what? I wanna fight here. I wanna fight there.’ … It wasn’t me. But wherever it is, you know, I’m gonna be there, I’m gonna be ready, and I’m gonna train hard and I’m gonna win.”

Ruiz ruined Joshua’s U.S. debut June 1 by stopping the heavily favored former champion in the seventh round at Madison Square Garden. Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) would’ve preferred facing Ruiz a second time either in London, where he twice has drawn capacity crowds in excess of 80,000 to Wembley Stadium, or Cardiff, where he twice has attracted sellout crowds to Principality Stadium that surpassed 75,000.

The open-air arena that has yet to be built in Diriyah will hold a maximum of 16,000 fans for the Ruiz-Joshua rematch.

Ruiz (33-1, 22 KOs), of Imperial, California, was uneasy about boxing Joshua in Saudi Arabia because of security concerns. He was well-protected by armed forces while he visited Saudi Arabia on Wednesday for the first stop on their three-day, three-country press tour.

Now that he has spent some time there, Ruiz is much more comfortable with the site of their rematch.

“You know what?,” Ruiz said. “A lot of people were saying bad things about over there, how it is, just because they have different rules, you know? They have different beliefs. But, you know what? When I went over there, they welcomed me very well. Everything was just organized very well and the people [treated me] well, so there’s nothing bad to say about that.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.