Anthony Joshua is days away from his career-defining fight against Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia.
And on 7 December he will have the chance to exact revenge. on the man who took his heavyweight titles in stunning fashion in June.
AJ was put down four times in New York as he was stopped by Ruiz Jr in one of the biggest upsets in boxing history.
While fans around the world wanted Joshua to fight Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury next, his first defeat as a professional has blown the showpiece division wide open.
The 30-year-old’s next fight is now a must-win rematch against Ruiz Jr as he looks to get his belts back.
When is Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz Jr 2?
The Joshua vs Ruiz Jr rematch will be held on Saturday, December 7 in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia in a custom-built 15,000-seater venue, The Diriyah Arena.
While Cardiff’s 80,000 capacity Principality Stadium was the preferred option, Ruiz Jr made it clear he would not travel to the UK – throwing the rematch into doubt.
But Eddie Hearn and co. have settled on Saudi Arabia with the bout being promoted as the ‘Clash on the Dunes’.
What time is Joshua vs Ruiz Jr 2 expected to start?
Joshua and Ruiz are to begin their ring walks at approximately 8.30-8.45pm UK time, brodcasters Sky have confirmed, which will be 11.30-11.45pm in Saudi Arabia. The fight is likely to start at 9pm.
How can I watch Joshua vs Ruiz 2?
The fight will be shown live on Sky Sports Box Office (channel 491 for SD, channel 492 for HD), at a cost of £24.95.
You can live stream the fight for the same price on your computer, mobile and tablet devices.
Sky’s Box Office official broadcast will then begin from 5pm UK time.
It will also be available for purchase through NOW TV, also at a price of £24.95.
In the US, the fight will be shown live on DAZN. You can stream through various platforms, including Chromecast, iOS, Android, Playstation 4 and Xbox One. A one-month DAZN subscription will cost $19.99.
Who is on the undercard?
These are the fights that have been confirmed by Matchroom, with five heavyweight clashes on the card:
- Andy Ruiz Jr vs Anthony Joshua (WBA Super, IBF, WBO, IBO world heavyweight titles)
- Dillian Whyte vs Mariusz Wach (WBC interim heavyweight title)
- Alexander Povetkin vs Michael Hunter (heavyweight)
- Filip Hrgovic vs Eric Molina (WBC international heavyweight title)
- Mahammadrasul Majidov vs Tom Little (heavyweight)
- Hopey Price vs TBC
- Diego Pacheco vs TBC
How much are Joshua and Ruiz being paid?
According to reports, Joshua is set for one of the biggest ever paydays in boxing history.
The 30-year-old is expected to receive anywhere between £45m and £60m for his night’s work.
The Saudi Arabian authorities have paid a fortune to host the fight – over £30m – while sponsorship, broadcasting rights and box office receipts will add to AJ’s earnings.
The pay packet will more than double his net worth to over £100m.
Ruiz Jr, meanwhile, is also set for a career high payday. He is expected to bank around $13m (£10m).
What have the fighters said?
Speaking at the final press conference ahead of the fight, on Wednesday, Joshua said he is determined to regain his crown.
“It is interesting to be on this side of the table, but in my 16th fight I challenged for the world title and I am challenging for the world title again,” he said.
“I call it back to my 16th fight. I’m hungry, determined and focused on the goal.
“There is no fear in my heart. No fear in my eyes and I’m really looking forward to putting on a show.”
Ruiz, meanwhile, is every bit as hungry to remain world heavyweight champion.
He said: “I made my dreams come true and made history. I appreciate the supporters I have. I was surprised by how many fans I have here. I’m ready to rock and roll.
“I know AJ will come with a different game plan and is prepared and more motivated. I know he will try to box me around, but it’s my job to prevent that.
“I don’t want to let these beautiful belts go away. I will die trying and do anything that is possible to get that victory.”
Who will win?
Asked what he plans to do, Joshua revealed an alarmingly aggressive game plan. “Take centre,” he said.
“If I’m six inches in front of Ruiz, all it takes for a man to miss a punch is six inches. So sometimes you haven’t even gotta be running around the ring.”
However, boxing promoter Frank Warren believes the challenger has a suspect chin, which could see him get knocked out.
What belts are on the line?
WBO super world heavyweight title, IBF, WBO, IBO world heavyweight belts.
Reclaiming his lost titles, though, will not be anything special to AJ, who said: “It’s because I know I belong there, so it’s not special as I know what I’m capable of doing.
“So when I regain those belts I’m probably just going to keep cool and stay focused because it’s not a time to celebrate, it’s a time to keep that challenging mindset and move on to the next target.
“One by one I’m picking them off and Ruiz is just the next one.”
Joshua vs Ruiz 2: Tale of the tape
Joshua – Ruiz Jr
Nationality: British – American/Mexican
Age: 30 – 30
Height: 6ft 6 – 6ft 2
Stance: Orthodox – Orthodox
Reach: 82 in – 74 in
Record: 22-1-0 – 33-1-0
KOs: 21 – 22
Rounds: 91 – 151
Debut: 5/10/2013 – 28/03/2009
Nickname: AJ – Destroyer
Joshua vs Ruiz 2: Read more
- Anthony Joshua plots trilogy with Andy Ruiz Jr and explains body transformation
- Andy Ruiz Jr and the heaviest heavyweight champions of all time, including Anthony Joshua and Lennox Lewis
- Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury, Dillian Whyte and other heavyweights offer rematch predictions
- How AJ can defy his doubters and beat heavyweight champion Ruiz
- Anthony Joshua record: Professional career stats, next bout, weight, height and reach plus more
- Anthony Joshua shoots down speculation he’ll retire if he loses Andy Ruiz Jr rematch, ‘I’ll fight till I’m 50’
- Andy Ruiz Jr tells Anthony Joshua to his face that he ‘quit’ in first fight, plans to end his career in rematch
- Tyson Fury backs ‘little fat pig’ Andy Ruiz Jr to beat Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia rematch