Though the United States and the United Kingdom have always been the two most likely destinations for the rematch between Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua, a third destination has appeared as the new frontrunner.
According to a report from The Athletic, Saudi Arabia has appeared as a favorite after what is being described as a strong push by organizers. From the report, Riyadh, the country's capital, is where the rematch would take place either on December 7 or December 14.
During a recent media call with Eddie Hearn, Joshua's promoter, to discuss Devin Haney's upcoming fight on September 13, the British promoter was asked about the rematch potentially heading to Saudi Arabia and declined to comment, only saying, “This is a Devin Haney call. We’ll have an announcement on that soon.”
Ruiz defeated Joshua on June 1 to capture the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles at Madison Square Garden in what was one of the most stunning upsets in a year filled with them. A rematch seemed imminent, but negotiations between both sides have been marred at times due to the location of the fight, with Madison Square Garden and Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales usually being among the two favorites before Saudi Arabia appeared.
Saudi Arabia has been looking to stage major sporting events in recent years. Since 2018, the country has hosted multiple WWE shows as part of a multi-year agreement and it also hosted the World Boxing Super Series super middleweight semifinals last year. Saudi Arabia also staged a boxing card in Jeddah that was headlined by a welterweight fight between Amir Khan and Billy Dib.