Andy Ruiz Jr has reportedly demanded a bigger split of the purse from his heavyweight rematch with Anthony Joshua, throwing their December 7 contest into serious doubt.
It was confirmed on Friday that the duo would head to Diriyah in Saudi Arabia for their highly-anticipated fight after the Middle East nation put forward a lucrative bid. Joshua’s promoter Matchroom announced there would be a press conference on Monday to reveal more details on the encounter.
However, the bout may now not go ahead after Ruiz’s camp changed their demands having initially agreed a £7.5million package. According to The Athletic, the 29-year-old will not sign off on the first defence of his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO titles unless he receives a significantly higher fee.
Ruiz had previously made it clear he would not defend the belts he shockingly took from Joshua in a seventh-round stoppage in New York back in June in the UK. Joshua had wanted the bout to be staged at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, a venue at which he has twice fought and won before, but eventually agreed for the contest to take place on neutral ground.
AJ is set to earn a record sum for the fight now it will take place in Saudi Arabia but may be forced to give up a slice of his purse following Ruiz’s demands. Following the announcement of the venue for the fight, Peter Fury, trainer of former world champion Tyson and heavyweight title contender Hughie, offered some advice to Joshua.
Having been part of Hughie Fury’s camp when he defeated Samuel Peter in Jeddah last month, Peter Fury had this to say. “You’ve got to go out there quite a bit beforehand, get used to the climate,” said Fury.
“Don’t start training outside, because there will be nothing left of you. Just go outside and have a walk in the evening when it cools down. “Don’t stay in the hotel 24/7. Don’t go out of the hotel and go straight to the gym in the car. “You need to feel the air and get used to it over a period of days.”