Former unified World heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (22-1, 21 KO’s) remains hopeful that his highly-anticipated rematch with WBA/WBO & IBF champion Andy Ruiz Jr. (33-1, 22 KO’s) will land in the United Kingdom.
Joshua, who fell victim to one of the biggest shocks in heavyweight boxing history when he succumbed to a seventh round TKO loss to Ruiz Jr. in June, revealed he will “battle” for the second leg to be held in Cardiff, though admitted the bout is likely to be held “on neutral ground”.
“We’re doing a lot of talking about what he wants but he doesn’t call the shots. I don’t mind fighting in America because I’ve done it before.” said Joshua in an interview with Sky Sports.
“I went there off my own back so for the rematch I would love it to be in Cardiff but it’s going to be on neutral ground; Ruiz is the champ so he will make some calls as well.
“I will battle for it to be in the UK because it’s my stomping ground. I did one out there so lets do the rematch here.”
After promoter Eddie Hearn revealed last week that America was “out of the question”, Joshua continued by insisting he would not be fazed by a potential return match-up in Ruiz Jr.’s homeland of Mexico.
“There are two ends to it; one, I’d fight in Tijuana and Ruiz’s uncle could be the referee and I’d still whoop him, but then there’s the aspect of the British fans want to see me get those belts back.” said the London 2012 Olympic gold medallist.
With rumours swirling as to the date and venue of the bout, Cardiff’s Principality Stadium remains the firm front-runner for a proposed U.K. clash.
Having previously defeated both Carlos Takam and then-WBO champion Joseph Parker at the same venue, Joshua holds happy memories of the competing in the Welsh capital – and feels, given the opportunity, the “energy” of performing in-front of a home audience could prove decisive on the night.
“In the Olympics I tried to block out the energy in the room but it was the worst thing because I was fighting a battle I couldn’t win.
“Walking out in Cardiff in front of 90,000 people screaming and rooting for you, that type of energy that goes through your body is unstoppable.”
Article by: Ryan Elliott
Follow Ryan on Twitter at: @RBE_73