Ruiz, Joshua rematch almost done, says Hearn

In Summary

• Joshua, 29, lost three of the four major world heavyweight titles to Ruiz in June.

• Hearn believes Cardiff’s Principality Stadium the ‘front-runner’ to host the bout

Anthony Joshua trades punches with Andy Ruiz Jnr
Anthony Joshua trades punches with Andy Ruiz Jnr
Image: /REUTERS

Eddie Hearn says talk of Anthony Joshua taking a warm-up fight is ‘not up for negotiation’ before insisting that the Watford-born heavyweight will take on Andy Ruiz Jnr in a rematch later this year.

Joshua, 29, fell to a shock defeat at Madison Square Garden in June that saw him lose three of his four major world heavyweight titles to the Mexican.

 
 

Hearn also believes that Cardiff’s Principality Stadium is the ‘front-runner’ to host the blockbuster bout on December 14.

 

During Dillian Whyte’s win over Oscar Rivas on Saturday, there was plenty of talk whether the rematch would be a good idea for Joshua.

However, Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, was quick to dismiss the speculation by telling BBC 5 Live: “Do you think Joshua wants a warm-up? No.”

Delays in confirming the rematch have led to sceptics questioning whether it will go ahead but Hearn is adamant that the fight will.

“It’s not even up for negotiation if he’s taking that fight or not,” added Hearn. “That fight is happening. Someone just asked me ‘do you think he should be taking this fight? I said ‘probably not’. In an ideal world probably you’d like a 10-rounder.”

“If you’re a favourite for a fight for the heavyweight titles, you’re taking that fight. It is risky, dangerous, dramatic but it’s the biggest fight in world boxing.”

The 40-year-old promoter believes the Principality Stadium could be the best venue to deal with the winter weather while Joshua fighting in front of 80,000 fans was ‘tempting’.

 
 

Joshua has previously insisted that he is more than motivated to win his titles back and believes he can do it at Madison Square Garden – the venue where he lost his belts.