AJ-Ruiz Jr II on neutral soil

ANTHONY JOSHUA (AJ) has confirmed his rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr will be on neutral ground despite his desire to fight in Cardiff.

Negotiations between both fighters’ camps are still ongoing as they try to determine the venue for AJ’s shot at redemption.

The 29-year-old Brit, who was sensationally dethroned as the heavyweight king by the Mexican at New York’s Madison Square Garden in June, would love to do battle again in front of a raucous crowd in Wales.

But he told Sky Sports he does not care where the battle is – he will still “whoop” Ruiz.

Joshua said: “I see there’s been a lot of talking about what he wants but he doesn’t get to call the shots – it’s a team effort.

“But its fine, I don’t mind fighting in America as I’ve done it before and I’d love to fight here because I had no reason to go there in the first place.

“I went there off my own back so for the rematch I’d love it to be in Cardiff.

“However, it’s going to be on neutral ground. Ruiz is the champ so he will make some calls on that situation but I’ll battle for it to be in the UK.

“It’s my stomping ground, I went out there so let’s do the rematch here, and I think it will be amazing before the year is out and I’ll definitely be having a lovely New Year with my family.”

When quizzed on whether staging the rematch in the UK would give him the advantage, the ex- WBA, IBF and WBO title holder said: “There’s two ends to it.

“One, I’ll fight in Tijuana and Ruiz’s uncle can be the referee and I’ll still whoop him. It doesn’t matter to me where it is – there’s that aspect.

“But then there’s the other where the British fans that have been riding with me from day one want to see me get the belts back.

“I’ll never forget in the Olympics when I walked out, I tried to block out the energy in that room, and that was the worst thing because I was fighting a battle I couldn’t win. –Sunsports

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