Clash on the Dunes Fight Week Kicks off in Saudi Arabia
Andy Ruiz Jr, and Anthony Joshua faced the world’s media for the first time this week at the official fighter’s arrival party at the Centria Mall in Riyadh ahead of their colossal Heavyweight World title rematch at the Diriyah Arena in Saudi Arabia on Saturday December 7, shown live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the US.
Ruiz told BBC Sport: “I have been enjoying life. This is just the beginning.
“I sure haven’t stopped smiling. I have been so happy how my life has changed for my wife, my kids, my whole family. I am blessed with all that came my way.
“All of the pressure is on him, not on me as I followed my dream and made it come true.”
Speaking to BBC Sport Joshua said: “There are things I have had to do to take me to the next level. I am confident I can be victorious and when I am I will tell everyone of how I went wrong.
“I do feel different. I feel confident, I believe. I have been boxing since 2008. It’s almost like it’s been given to me. Now I am back to the days of being younger, striving.
“I am a challenger. This is my chance at the Heavyweight Championship of the World. The event starts when I am victorious. Then I will tell you about my story, what I have come through, the obstacles.”
Ruiz vs. Joshua 2 tops a huge night of boxing in Saudi Arabia.
Russian powerhouse Alexander Povetkin (35-2, 24 KOs) returns from his August triumph over Hughie Fury to take on USA’s fast-rising Heavyweight talent Michael Hunter (18-1, 12 KOs) in an Eliminator for the WBA World Title.
Brixton Heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte (26-1, 18 KOs) takes on Poland’s former World Title challenger Mariusz Wach (35-5, 19 KOs), undefeated Croatian Heavyweight star Filip Hrgovic (9-0, 7 KOs) steps up to face former World Title challenger Eric Molina (27-5, 19 KOs) as he puts his WBC International Championship on the line for the third time.
Tom Little (10-7, 3 KOs) will be targeting a huge Heavyweight upset as he takes on former Amateur Word Champion Mahammadrasul Majidov (1-0, 1 KO), and the talented young duo of Leeds Super-Bantamweight Hopey Price (1-0) and Los Angeles Super-Middleweight Diego Pacheco (7-0, 6 KOs) will also be eager to impress at Diriyah Arena, Zuhayr Al Qahtani (7-0) clashes with Omar Dusary (7-0-1, 1 KO) for the WBC Middle East Lightweight Title and UAE Lightweight Majid Al Naqbi (3-0, 1 KO) aims to improve his perfect record.
The Clash On The Dunes presented by PIF forms part of the Diriyah Season, an 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.