EDDIE HEARN insists Anthony Joshua will rematch Andy Ruiz Jr in Cardiff – despite the champion’s vow to snub the UK after Dillian Whyte “failed” a drug test.
Whyte, 31, was reportedly found with two illegal substances in his system before his Saturday night decision win over Oscar Rivas – but the fight was allowed to continue.
The Brixton puncher was cleared to box by the British Board of Boxing Control – and Ruiz, 29, slammed the decision claiming he will not fight AJ in the UK in fear of being “set up”.
However, promoter Hearn told FightHype the rematch could be “finalised” for December 14 in Cardiff – instead of in November back in New York.
Hearn said: “I do believe the fight will take place on December 14th in Cardiff.
“We will have to see if that’s finalised, but it will be finalised very soon.
“It might be an advantage it might be a disadvantage having more pressure.
“He just a thought Andy Ruiz Jr. in his country, in the US, I know he’s of Mexican descent but he lives in the US but this time he’s going to fight him in the UK.
“Now there will be the added pressure of the people – for me there’s actually less pressure to do the fight at Madison Square Garden.
“Go back there, if you lose you say well I probably should’ve gone to England then you go back and you have a fight in England.
“If you lose in England, it ain’t great, so I think there’s actually added pressure for Joshua doing it in the UK.”
Joshua, 29, was decked four times by 25-1 outsider Ruiz on his US debut at Madison Square Garden at the start of June.
During the pre-fight build up AJ was surrounded with questions about a potential undisputed showdown with Deontay Wilder.
But with that thought now a million miles away, Hearn admitted AJ is a “different beast” heading into the rematch, after taking the snickers loving underdog “too lightly” last month.
Hearn added: “We don’t know in that fight was it strategy?
“Was it mindset? Was it confidence? Was he just taking him too lightly?
“Probably a mixture of everything, but he’s a different animal in this fight, he wasn’t up for that first fight.
I do believe the fight will take place on December 14th in Cardiff. We will have to see if that’s finalised, but it will be finalised very soon.
“Everybody was saying to him, ‘When you beat this guy – so when you going to fight Wilder?’ ‘Well I’ve got to take care of Ruiz first.’
“I never rule out AJ losing, he’s learning, so he’s not the finished article in heavyweight boxing and I knew Ruiz was a good fight, that’s why we took the fight.
“Because he wanted a real fight, we wanted to give the fans a real fight, unfortunately I wish we would’ve taken an easier fight.”
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