Anthony Joshua, Andy Ruiz Jr rematch likely to be fought on ‘neutral ground’

Anthony Joshua admits he’s unlikely to face Andy Ruiz Jr in Britain.

The former IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion was beaten for the first time in his career by the Mexican-American in June.

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Ruiz Jr knocked Joshua down four times before winning in the seventh round

Following the shock result in New York, Joshua immediately activated his rematch clause and had hoped to hold the fight at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.

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However, Ruiz has voiced his reluctance to fight in Britain and AJ conceded the rematch is likely to be held on neutral territory as the new heavyweight champ now calls some of the shots.

In an interview with Sky Sports, Joshua also suggested there will not be a return to New York.

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He said: “We’re doing a lot of talking about what he wants but he doesn’t call the shots. I don’t mind fighting in America because I’ve done it before.

“I went there off my own back so for the rematch I would love it to be in Cardiff, but it’s going to be on neutral ground. Ruiz is the champ so he will make some calls.

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“I will battle for it to be in the UK because it’s my stomping ground.”

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn said the venue and date of the bout were close to being finalised.

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Hearn told Sky Sports: “I know, I think, where the fight is going, but I just have to wait for some paperwork to be tied up and then we’ll make an announcement.

“Neutral venues would give us a lot less headache with Andy Ruiz, but if it’s Wales, it’s Wales, and that’s where the fight will be.

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“But we’re just waiting for some paperwork to be tied up and then [Ruiz Jr] will be alerted as to where that venue is.”

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