By: Sean Crose
Boxing Insider can confirm a report from England’s The Sun that two dates – along with two possible locations – have been set for the much anticipated rematch between current WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz, and the man he dethroned in stunning fashion earlier this month, Anthony Joshua. The two possible locations are Madison Square Garden in New York, which was the location of the first match between the two men, or Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. Should the rematch go down in New York, it will be on November 29th or December 7th. Should the bout go down in Wales, it will be on December 14th.
Fight fans were stunned several weeks ago when the undefeated Joshua, who was making his American debut, was dropped four times and stopped by the rugged Ruiz, who, despite having a single controversial loss on his own resume, wasn’t given much of a chance walking in. Getting up off the mat early on, however, Ruiz engaged ferociously yet intelligently with Joshua, eventually beating his man up thoroughly before the fight was stopped. The fact that Joshua looked like an Adonis while Ruiz showcased the body of your average middle aged softball player only served to add irony to the already shocking moment.
Not only did Ruiz pull off what will most certainly end up being the upset of the year in boxing, he also sent shock waves through the heavyweight division’s current pecking order. Joshua was seen as the dominant force in the division, with three major belts, but with hard hitting American Deontay Wilder holding the WBC title, and the gregarious Tyson Fury laying claim to the lineal championship of the world (which arguably dates back to the time of at least John L Sullivan in the late 1800s), it seemed as if there would be an inevitable three way run off to see who the true king of heavyweights was.
Now, however, Joshua is looking to regain his belts with a devastating loss on his record, while the Snickers Bar loving Ruiz is the toast of the fight game. Should Joshua win in the rematch, there may even be a third fight before he moves on to Wilder or Fury. Should Ruiz win again, however, the Californian might find himself in the enviable position Joshua himself did until recently – that of the man with the most belts firmly in his possession.
Hearn claims that the final date and location of the fight would be made “within 48 hours.”