Nigerian-born heavyweight boxer, Anthony Olaseni Oluwafemi Joshua has admitted he would prefer to have his title rematch with Mexico’s Andy Ruiz Jnr in the United Kingdom, rather than the champion’s latest declration that he wants the bout to hold in his home country.
‘AJ’ lost his three world title belts to Ruiz during his debut in America on June 1st, such that the British boxer is wary of stepping out against his conqueror in Mexico, which would give the Mexican-American a big advantage to win once again and finally claim overall bragging rights.
Ruiz has already voiced his displeasure at the prospect of travelling to the UK, with Joshua remaining respectful of his wishes, but the Brit admits that home advantage could be crucial as he attempts to avenge the seventh-round knockout loss in June.
However, ‘AJ’ is also willing to fight Ruiz on “neutral ground”, but the British heavyweight star would love the rematch to be staged in Cardiff, Wales, but the fight is yet to be confirmed following the Mexican’s shock victory at Madison Square Garden in New York, although Matchroom Boxing boss Eddie Hearn has suggested a final decision is edging closer.
Amazingly, though, even Joshua admits he does not know when the rematch terms will be finalised, with dates in November and December being considered, and was not interested in taking a warm-up fight.
Joshua told Sky Sports: “I’ve taken a step back from the business, so the decisions are due when the decisions are due, and I leave that to the decision-makers.
“Ruiz, I’ve seen he’s done a lot of talking about what he wants, but he don’t call the shots in that sense, it’s a team effort.
“It’s fine, I don’t mind fighting him in America, I’ve done it before, and I’d love to fight here because I had no reason to go in the first place.
“I went there off my own back, so for the rematch now, I would love it to be in Cardiff, however, [if] it’s going to be on neutral ground, Ruiz is the champ, we’ll kind of make some calls as well in that situation.
“But I’m going to battle for it to be in the UK, because it’s my stomping ground. I done one out there, so let’s do the rematch here. I think it will be amazing before the year is out and I’ll definitely be having a lovely new years with my family.
“You’ve got two ends of it. There’s one, I’d fight in Tijuana and Ruiz’s uncle could be the referee and I would still whoop him. It don’t matter to me where it is, there’s that aspect, but then there’s the other aspect of the British fans that have been riding with me from day one want to see me get them belts back.
“Walking out in Cardiff in front of 70, 80, 90,000 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 that little bit of edge I need to win those belts.”