Eddie Hearn threatens Andy Ruiz with legal battle after champion raises concerns about fighting Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia

Gareth A Davies
The Telegraph
Eddie Hearn has warned Andy Ruiz he must honour his contract - Getty Images Europe
Eddie Hearn has warned Andy Ruiz he must honour his contract - Getty Images Europe

Eddie Hearn has reacted strongly to the news from Andy Ruiz Jr that he is unhappy about heading to Saudi Arabia for a rematch with Anthony Joshua, warning the Mexican-American that he could face a legal battle if he refuses to fight in the Middle East.

Ruiz - expected to earn £7.5 million for the second encounter - revealed live on an Instagram chat that he believes the rematch should be in the United States.

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“I know everybody’s talking about the fight and all but we got the real news coming soon,” said Ruiz on social media. “The fight is going to happen soon. I’m trying to give hope, give motivation to all my people. It’s going to be on my terms, our terms. We’re going to bring it back here in the United States. It’s like I said, I don’t have no protection over there (Saudi Arabia).” 

However, Hearn responded to Ruiz that he remains under contract and risks being stripped of the championship titles won from Joshua on June 1 in New York.

“The contract for the rematch was signed prior to the first fight,” Hearn told Sky Sports. “They were both signed at the same time. There is no other contract. We have to let (Andy and his team) know the time, date and venue which we have done. That’s it. They are contractually bound for the rematch. There are no conversations between the two teams about not doing the fight. I don’t perceive a problem.” 

<span>Andy Ruiz defeated Anthony Joshua in New York</span> <span>Credit: getty images </span>
Andy Ruiz defeated Anthony Joshua in New York Credit: getty images

Hearn added that there will be consequences.

“He signed a contract with us that he was absolutely over the moon with. That gave him the opportunity of a lifetime. He will 100 per cent honour that contract. His choice is to have a legal battle that could put him out of boxing for years, or to defend his belts for a lot of money against a guy he has already beaten. There isn’t any doubt he will take the fight. Any messing around and Ruiz Jr will lose belts, and he won’t want to do that. We expect the IBF, WBA and WBO belts to be on the line.”

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