New York - The boxing world was titled on its axis this past June when Andy Ruiz (31-1, 20 KO’s) dropped and stopped Anthony Joshua (22-1, 21 KO’s) - and in turn winning the WBO, WBA, IBO and IBF heavyweight titles.
Through countless days of negotiations to reach an agreement, the two will tangle in the rematch on December 7th from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
As part of their three city media tour, the two were already face to face in Saudi Arabia and in New York. But there was a difference this time, according to Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sports.
“Both guys are a little bit nervous whether they admit it or not because it’s a whole new experience,” Hearn told reporters in New York. “Ruiz had a little air of confidence not arrogance. Joshua was reminded of how he was in the early days. He has a lot more edge than in the first press conference because in the first press conference [in June] he gave him his belts. Ruiz looked like a competition winner.”
But is there more pressure on either fighter this time around, Ruiz to prove it wasn’t a fluke and for Joshua to prove he still belongs with the elite fighters in the heavyweight division?
“Ruiz behaved like a champion,” said Hearn. “In terms of who’s got more pressure? Joshua seems hungry. Does all the money from the last fight take Ruiz’ edge off? We have to see. If he wins this fight, he’s the biggest star in boxing. If Joshua wins the fight, then he probably is.”
The fight will be carried by the streaming platform DAZN at approximately midnight in Saudi Arabia, 9PM in the UK, and 4PM EST in the US. For Hearn the goal is simple, win the biggest fight in boxing and then make bigger fights after, mainly with Deontay Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KO’s) and Tyson Fury (28-0-1, 20 KO’s).
“It’s the biggest fight in the world. We win, we start talking about the fights we talked about for 18 months,” Hearn said.