EXCLUSIVE: Bob Arum on Saudi Arabia: It’s Anthony Joshua’s judgement
Bob Arum gave his view on Anthony Joshua taking his rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr. to Saudi Arabia in a recent interview with WBN.
The Top Rank boss, who made himself available for an extensive chat, was asked particularly to comment on the choice of venue.
Joshua, alongside his promoter Eddie Hearn, made the decision due to a huge offer from Saudi investors. This is despite a poor human rights record in the country.
Ruiz, who was promoted by Arum for all but two of his fights, will head over to defend his unified belts on December 7 in Diriyah.
British star AJ will campaign away from home for the second contest running. Arum, for his part, seemed rather non-plussed about the furor.
“Listen, there’s nothing illegal about it. That’s a moral judgment that everybody has to make,” Arum exclusively told World Boxing News.
“We’re all aware of the situation in Saudi Arabia. But again, I’m not criticizing anybody for making their own judgment there.
“I mean he can say, ‘Hey I’m not doing anything illegal,’ and he’s absolutely right. They’re paying with him good money. He’s absolutely right (to do it if he wants to).
“I’m not going to say from my advantage point that it’s wrong or right. It is what it is.”
TOP RANK IN SAUDI
Asked about the chances of a Top Rank fight being held in Saudi at some point in the future, Arum replied: “That opportunity hasn’t presented itself to me.
“I have never considered one way or the other. When it becomes an actual reality of a fight in Saudi Arabia, I’ll make the decision at that time,” concluded the Hall of Fame promoter.
Despite a record of women rights being less than impressive, Hearn and Matchroom Boxing have been assured there’ll be no problem come fight night.
There’s even talk of a women’s fight taking place on the bill. Although talking about it – and the bout becoming a reality, are two completely different things.
More is set to be revealed on the actual undercard in the coming weeks.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay