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Andy Ruiz Jr. trainer: Saudi Arabia can happen, but wait

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Andy Ruiz Jr’s trainer, Manny Robles, has revealed the heavyweight champion would be willing to meet Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia.

Ahead of the announcement by promoter Eddie Hearn on Monday, Robles didn’t rule out the fight happening in the Middle East. The comments came on the back of speculation Ruiz was not happy with the confirmation of a second battle with AJ in Diriyah.

Speaking to, Robles says he’s open to Ruiz taking on Joshua at any venue stipulated despite the silence.

“You haven’t heard anything from Andy Ruiz. There’s a reason why – right? – You have one party saying, we’re fighting December 7th. You got the promoter going out on a limb saying we’re fighting December 7th in Saudi Arabia.

“But you haven’t heard anything from the other party. That’s Andy Ruiz, so everybody has to hold off and wait.”

Pushed on the prospect of Saudi Arabia being rubberstamped to host, Robles added: “You know what, at the end of the day we’re willing to fight any place, anywhere. That’s what a true champion does. You know what I mean?

“If it means going to Wales, going to England, in this case going to Saudi Arabia or back to New York, we gotta do what we gotta do.”

There’s been criticism of the decision to take the fight away from the UK and United States since revealed on Friday. Joshua originally stated he’d be willing to fight again in New York before Hearn pushed for home advantage.

When it became apparent Ruiz would not travel to Britain, Hearn and Joshua were forced to think outside the box. That’s where a huge offer from Saudi Arabia came in. The return could be ratified this week once Ruiz accepts his side of the contract.

A purse in the region of $10m is guaranteed for the Mexican-American. Ruiz himself is holding out for more.

Should he dig his heels in, there’s more than enough cash floating around from the Saudi organizers for Ruiz to be more than happy to compete.

Read all articles and exclusive interviews by Phil Jay. Learn more about the author, experienced boxing writer, and World Boxing News Editor since 2010. Follow on Twitter @PhilJWBN.