United heavyweight world champion Andy Ruiz Jr. says he has not signed to fight Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia and hopes the rematch will be in New York.
A rematch on December 7 in Saudi Arabia was announced on Friday and Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn told a press conference on Monday that it was signed.
Ruiz did not talk or post until Wednesday about the fight in the social media.
The 29-year-old said to ESPN in Mexico, "I have not signed anything yet, we are negotiating everything."
Asked about a Saudi Arabia contest, he said, "They want to do it there, but we need to see where we're negotiating with my team, and I'd like to see it in New York again."
"Joshua is too big"
Ruiz surprised Joshua – who was a favorite with bookmakers 1-25 – on June 1 at New York's Madison Square Garden.
He won the heavyweight titles IBF, WBA and WBO and became Mexico's first World Champion in the division.
29-year-old Joshua claimed his right to a rematch and promoter, Hearn, repeatedly pointed out that Ruiz was committed to the fight, as a rematch clause was part of the contract of the first fight.
Hearn has said that the team of Joshua Ruiz has contractually only to communicate "date, time and location" and that the champion could face court action if the fight does not take place.
The organizers in Saudi Arabia have proposed a fee of $ 40 million (£ 33 million) to host the event. However, given the human rights situation in the country, it has been criticized that a fight of this magnitude is taking place there.
Amnesty International, a human rights organization, said the move "provides the opportunity for the Saudi authorities to change their badly battered image to" sportive purposes. "
Ruiz is again an underdog of the bookmaker for the replay, but since his shock win in the seventh round, Joshua has stated that he is "not good at boxing".
When asked Wednesday if he wanted to talk to Joshua again, he said, "I think he will want to walk a little longer, move, but he is too tall, he has a lot of muscle and it will be very difficult for him . "
& # 39; Champion Digging In & # 39; – Analysis
BBC Sport Boxing Reporter Luke Reddy:
There is a clear distance between the events that is as tasty as it is contentious.
When Joshua and the team around him released pictures of a "Clash on the Dunes" battle poster last Friday, Team Ruiz did not mumble a word.
The coach of the champ, Manny Robles, told the reporters that there was "a reason" for the silence.
Then came the press conference on Monday, which expressed the intention of the Saudi organizers.
But something does not seem to be right. Is Ruiz trying a little more in a sport that's about money? During his career he has fought in New Zealand and Macao, so that in the past he was not particularly bothered to travel overseas.
It's worth noting that Ruiz asked Hearn to replace Jarrell Miller and face Joshua on June 1st. In this remarkable night, his life changed and now that he is world champion, he does not seem to defiantly give Hearn the night he wishes for Saudi Arabia.