Joshua: Ruiz Rematch Can Be In Tijuana Or Finchley, No Problem
It’s been two months since Anthony Joshua lost his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles to Andy Ruiz Jr., who in doing so became Mexico’s first ever heavyweight boxing world champion. And although we know the two will rematch at the end of the year, we still don’t know where the fight will take place.
There have obviously been calls to have it at Madison Square Garden again and Ruiz has said he wants it to go down in Mexico. While Team Joshua have stated that they want the rematch to go down in the UK, and have discussed having at the Millennium Stadium, in Cardiff, Wales, which has a capacity of over 70,000 and a retractable roof.
Speaking this week to talkSPORT, former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis said he he’d also like to see it take place in Mexico.
“You know where I’d like to see that fight? In Mexico, baby. This is the first time in history we have a heavyweight champion from Mexico. I would have never thought that would be possible. To see Andy Ruiz do it in such fine fashion, why not? Give the fans in Mexico a chance to see the fight, that they didn’t get a chance to see in New York to see it.”
Since hearing this, Joshua has spoken to Sky Sports (as transcribed by The Mac Life) and said that one half of him would like the rematch to go down in Mexico, while the other half wants it to take place at the Millennium Stadium, where he’d have the support of close to 100,000 fans.
“There’s two ends of it. One, I’d fight in Tijuana and Ruiz’ Uncle could be the referee and I’d still whoop him. You know what I mean? It don’t matter to me where it is. There’s that aspect. But then there’s the other aspect of the British fans who’ve been riding with me since day one want to see me get those belts back … Walking out in Cardiff in front of 70, 80, 90 thousand people screaming and rooting for you to win, that type of energy that goes through your body is unstoppable, and I think that could give me the little bit of edge I need to win those belts.
“I know there’s a rematch, I know it’s going to be this year, wherever it is it’s going to be on neutral grounds. I want Ruiz to have a say. He’s the champ. I wanna fight here, he wants to fight elsewhere. We’ll fight on neutral grounds, no problem, but what it is for me, I’m just focused on beating Ruiz. I’m not interested in when it has to be made — like I said, it could be in Tijuana, I don’t mind. Could be here in Finchley, no problem — I just want to focus on getting those belts back.”
But for now, the former champion says he’s just concentrating on getting better, so that he can win his belts back.
“I feel good. A little blip. A mistake I made, and I would say Ruiz wasn’t ready to be taken out. I’m just going to add to what we already have, correct my wrongs, and look forward to the rematch because I feel it’s a fight I can win.
“I need to be around as many boxing people as possible because right now I need to soak in the experience and knowledge – gotta watch those documentaries, and just soak in that boxing environment again. Get that passion back, realise I’m not interested in this fight or that fight, the only fight I’m interested in right now is Ruiz and beating him good so I can get those belts back.”
After being knocked down in the third round in their first fight, Ruiz came back and stopped Joshua in the seventh round. Some fans thought ‘AJ’ didn’t look himself on the night and there were rumours that he had had a panic attack before his walkout. Although the 29 year old denied this.
Whereas Lewis stated that he’d like to see the rematch take place in Mexico, another former champion, George Foreman, came out and said he didn’t think Joshua should activate the immediate rematch clause in the contract from the June 1st fight.
The rematch has been confirmed though. Where do you think the rematch should take place?