Ruiz vs Joshua 2 undercard takes shape, Hearn admits venue could move
Eddie Hearn has begun assembling the undercard for the massive heavyweight rematch between Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua.
The world title bout, which features four versions of the top division crown, is set to take place on December 7th in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.
In the co-feature, Hearn wants a 200 pound plus flavor and is already trying to nail down a world-ranked fight.
“Saudi looks like Alexander Povetkin vs Michael Hunter,” Hearn told The Daily Mail.
Povetkin and Hunter are both in the top fifteen and in line for a world title shot, meaning a significant contest if nailed down.
On the rest of the bill, the Briton added: “Maybe Liam Smith against Jessie Vargas. Scott Quigg against Jono Carroll and Filip Hrgovic against someone. Then one other fight.”
On security fears that the fighters could be in danger, Hearn admitted they would switch venues if advised.
Increasing concerns in the region have led Hearn to seek assurances about safety and put a strategy in place for an alternative venue.
“We did contact them and ask if everything’s OK, and they said it was,” revealed the Matchroom boss.
“As far as we’re concerned it’s all systems go. The area that was hit was a long way from Diriyah.
“The Foreign Office advice for the country is to travel with caution, it’s the same category as Mexico, so there’s no advice not to travel.
“We can change the venue if something major happens.”
“We had Errol Spence v Kell Brook in Sheffield in May 2017, four days after the Manchester bombings, and it looked like we’d have to cancel.
“Instead, we had to spend significant money on policing and anti-terror squads. The venue change could be done but it’s not even part of the mindset.”
At a recent press conference in the region, Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al Faisal Al Saud, Chairman of the GSA was looking forward to hosting.
“Firstly, boxing is one of our growing sports in the Kingdom, we have had events in the past and international events which started with Formula E, WWE, the Italian Super-Cup final and other events in the Kingdom.
“We are very lucky that we have managed to host this fight in Saudi and in Diriyah, which is a very special place for all of us. Also, we want to reflect to the world what Saudi Arabia is and hopefully everyone can come and enjoy this fight in one of our special places in the Kingdom.
“Anyone who wants to come to Saudi and watch this fight is more than welcome to come. We are not just hosting fights, we’re increasing the interest in the Kingdom.
“We have seen the interest in sports have grown drastically in the last few years and we want to give this opportunity to Saudi citizens who can come and watch this fight.
“I think that everyone who is coming to watch this fight is going to experience something that they haven’t experienced anywhere else in the world, that is our aim.
“We will have an easy system that anyone can apply to and anyone can apply for a VISA and come to Saudi and watch this fight. We are looking forward to welcoming everyone.”