Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 18 August 2019

Saudi Arabia to host Anthony Joshua's heavyweight world title rematch with Andy Ruiz

The high-profile duel has been billed as "Clash on the Dunes" and will see Joshua trying to win back the titles he lost to Ruiz in New York in June

The promotional poster for 'Clash of the Dunes' as Andy Ruiz Jr, left, and Anthony Joshua, right, contest the rematch of their world heavyweight title fight in Saudi Arabia. Courtesy Organisers
The promotional poster for 'Clash of the Dunes' as Andy Ruiz Jr, left, and Anthony Joshua, right, contest the rematch of their world heavyweight title fight in Saudi Arabia. Courtesy Organisers

The highly-anticipated heavyweight world title rematch between Andy Ruiz Jr and Anthony Joshua will take place in Saudi Arabia on December 7, organisers announced on Friday evening.

The high-profile duel has been billed as "Clash on the Dunes" and will see Joshua trying to win back the IBF, WBA and WBO titles he sensationally lost to Ruiz in New York in June.

The bout will take place in Diriyah, which incorporates the UNESCO World Heritage site of Al-Turaif, on the outskirts of Riyadh - a dramatic contrast to Madison Square Garden which hosted the first fight between the two men which ended in a seventh-round stoppage.

Promoters Matchroom Boxing said the fight details will be officially revealed at a news conference in London on Monday.

The rematch had been widely touted but Cardiff's Principality Stadium was the favourite to stage the event.

The staging or Ruiz-Joshua 2 is the latest statement of intent by Saudi Arabia and their ambitions of hosting more international sports events in the Kingdom.

In February, they hosted a first European Tour golf event, which was won by former world No 1 Dustin Johnson, while the world's most gruelling motor sports race, the Dakar Rally, will be raced in the country in 2020.

In July, British boxer Amir Khan won the WBC international welterweight title with a fourth round stoppage of Australian Billy Dib in Jeddah.

Saudi Arabia also hosted the final of the super-middleweight World Boxing Super Series between Callum Smith and George Groves in September last year, with Smith emerging victorious.

Updated: August 10, 2019 08:34 PM

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