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Ruiz vows to make history again in Saudi Arabia

Filed on November 26, 2019
Andy Ruiz receives a warm welcome in Saudi Arabia. (Supplied photo)

The first-ever World Heavyweight title fight to take place in the Middle East will be staged in the custom-built 15,000 seat Diriyah Arena

World Champion Andy Ruiz has vowed to "make history again" as he landed in Saudi Arabia for the Clash On The Dunes, bringing his IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO title belts with him.

The Mexican-American fighter followed his challenger Anthony Joshua into the Kingdom, touching down at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh in the early hours of Tuesday to set up his own training camp to prepare for the epic bout on December 7, a press release said.

The first-ever World Heavyweight title fight to take place in the Middle East will be staged in the custom-built 15,000 seat Diriyah Arena which is now ready for action in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage site, known as the home of heroes and kings.

When asked how he felt about boxing in the Kingdom for the first time, Andy Ruiz said: "It feels good. You know I made history in New York and I'll make history again in Saudi Arabia."

Joshua will be looking to regain the title belts on the line after losing them to Ruiz - known as 'The Destroyer' - at their first match in New York earlier this year.

Anthony Joshua has said his first career defeat at the hands of Ruiz was down to a lack of experience and he has become a "smarter" fighter ahead of December's rematch.

"It wasn't burnout. The issues I faced in the last camp, it's just down to lack of experience," he told BBC. "Even though it was at a high level, we were still finding experience.

"Andy Ruiz is good but I don't think he should beat me twice. I used to hear guys say you have to take a loss and I would think 'why?'"

"Now I can understand it and know what it takes. I have more understanding now and my ears are open to new information so that's making me smarter as a fighter. Anyone can be hungrier, I am smarter."

With hundreds of fans from throughout the US travelling for the bout, the collective number of kilometers travelled by Americans is a significantly larger commitment than any other fans from across the world, with tickets sold in 60 different countries. But his fans will have to their work cut out to match the volume of Joshua's followers with thousands flying in from the UK.

A world-class undercard will support the compelling main draw.

The Clash On The Dunes is part of the Diriyah Season, epic month of sports which kicked off with Formula E at the weekend, the Diriyah Tennis Cup featuring eight of the best men's players on the planet, and the Diriyah Equestrian Festival, an elite competition with Tokyo Olympics 2020 qualifying points on the line.

The Diriyah Season is also supported by the Diriyah Music Festival with huge concerts taking place around the event. On December 6, the night before the Clash On The Dunes, major artists who are yet to be announced will perform. So far artists such as Imagine Dragons, DJ Alan Walker, Clean Bandit and Maluma have performed to 40,000 concert goers. (with inputs from Reuters)

 


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