Eddie Hearn: Andy Ruiz Jr. 'Will 100% Honor' Contract for Anthony Joshua Rematch

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 14, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12:  Eddie Hearn, managing director of Matchroom Sport and Omar Khalil, Managing Partner of Skill Challenge Entertainment, official event partner in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia address a press conference to formally announce 'Clash on the Dunes' at The Savoy hotel on August 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
Warren Little/Getty Images

Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn said Andy Ruiz Jr. will "100 per cent honor" his contract for a rematch with Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia after the Mexican-American boxer said the fight would take place in the USA.

Per Sky Sports' James Dielhenn, Ruiz wrote on Instagram on Wednesday that a rematch is "going to be on my terms" adding, "we are going to bring it back here in the United States," despite Hearn having confirmed they will fight in Saudi Arabia.

Hearn said:

"We have to let [Ruiz] know the time, date and venue, which we have done. That's it.

"They are contractually bound for the rematch.

"There are no conversations between the two teams about not doing the fight. I don't perceive a problem.

"He signed a contract with us that he was absolutely over the moon with, that gave him the opportunity of a lifetime. He will 100 per cent honor that contract."

Hearn added that if Ruiz did not fight Joshua, he could face a "legal battle that could put him out of boxing for years."

Ruiz Jr. stunned Joshua with a seventh-round knockout in Madison Square Garden in New York on June 1, taking his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles. 

The Englishman consequently invoked a rematch clause.

As ESPN's Steve Kim observed, that had been included in the contracts for their original fight:

Steve Kim @StevESPNKim

I hear a lot about the rematch clause for Ruiz-Joshua, some dont realize that the terms are put into place before the 1st fight. It's not like the terms were just written in by Eddie Hearn afterwords to suit his needs. Both sides agreed to them... #boxing

The Athletic's Mike Coppinger relayed further details about the rematch taking place in Saudi Arabia on December 7:

Mike Coppinger @MikeCoppinger

Sources tell @TheAthleticBOX that Eddie Hearn secured a site fee in excess of $40 million to bring Andy Ruiz-Anthony Joshua 2 to Saudi Arabia. Ruiz’s purse was set in the rematch clause, — a fixed guarantee — so he won’t see any of that money, but he does get his neutral site

The defeat was Joshua's first as a professional, taking his record to 22-1. With his victory, Ruiz Jr. extended his own record to 33-1.

Kubrat Pulev is the mandatory challenger for the IBF title.

The governing body have stripped Saul Alvarez and Tyson Fury of their belts in recent years⁠. The former did not agree to fight middleweight challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko, while the latter planned a rematch with Wladimir Klitschko after taking the heavyweight belt off him, rather than go through the mandatory defence of his title.

However, as the IBF is not expected to do the same to Ruiz Jr., Hearn said Joshua's camp expect that belt to be up for grabs along with the other titles.