Unified heavyweight world titleholder Andy Ruiz Jr. has agreed to fight Anthony Joshua in their heavily-anticipated rematch in Saudi Arabia, The Athletic first reported on Thursday.
Ruiz and his team on Wednesday night agreed to terms that he face Joshua again on Dec. 7 at a soon-to-be-constructed outdoor stadium in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.
According to terms signed before the first fight, Ruiz was expected to make around $9 million for the rematch. After knocking out Joshua, Ruiz and his team balked at fighting in the Middle East, until they received a better deal. It turned out to be a great move. Not only will they make more money, but they will also receive additional guarantees that were not a part of the original contract, which includes Mexican television rights for Ruiz.
According to ESPN, both camps have agreed to have the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, which handled testing for the first hour. oversee random drug testing for the sequel.
Because Saudi Arabia lacks an athletic commission with experience regulating professional boxing, representatives from a United States commission will be hired to assist the Saudis, to ensure regular championship protocol is enforced.
The commission has yet to be selected.
Both sides also agreed that the selected referee and judges should have at least 40 world title fights on their resume to be considered.
Ruiz (33-1, 22 KOs), 29, of Imperial, California, fought Joshua on two weeks’ notice on June 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Jarrell Miller was tossed from the fight after testing positive four separate times for a plethora of performance-enhancing drugs.
Ruiz survived a third-round knockdown and rallied to drop Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs), 29, of England, twice later in the third round. Ruiz sent the 2012 Olympic gold medalist to the floor twice more in the seventh to score one of the biggest upsets in heavyweight world title history. With a seventh-round knockout, Ruiz took Joshua’s three major heavyweight titles and became the first fighter of Mexican descent to win a heavyweight world title.