By Aragon Garcia: Andy Ruiz Jr. will be respected as a world champion for his rematch with Anthony Joshua on December 7th in Riyadh, SAudi Arabia, says Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn. However, the 29-year-old Ruiz Jr. might not get a bump in pay like he reportedly wants.
Hearn says they don’t have to give Ruiz an increase in pay, because rematch clause spells out what he’s entitled to get. Ruiz signed the rematch, and Hearn says it’s an “water-tight” contract. Hearn states that Ruiz probably doesn’t want to fight Joshua again, considering that he’s not happy. Nevertheless, Ruiz is contractually bound to give Joshua the rematch.
Ruiz is expected to $9 million. There’s no official word on how much more Joshua will be getting for the rematch, but he’s said to be getting from $40 million to as high as $90 million. Even if it’s $40 million, that’s a tremendous imbalance in pay. What’s hard for Boxing fans to wrap their heads around is the fact that Joshua is the challenger and Ruiz Jr. is the IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion. Ruiz holds three world titles, and yet he’s expected to get a much smaller purse for the rematch with Joshua.
Ruiz is contractually bound to rematch with Joshua says Hearn
“They do have some questions, as I would expect them to have,” said Hearn to Fighthype about Ruiz and his management having questions about fighting Joshua in SAudi Arabia. “They already signed the contract for the rematch. That fight will be taking place. All the governing bodies have been written to by myself, and by Andy Ruiz’s promoter to confirm where the fight is taking place, and the date of that fight. Contractually, they are bound by that. He’s got some questions he wants answered, and he’s got some leverage as well,” said Hearn about Ruiz Jr.
Hearn sounds worried about Ruiz slipping away, and keeping Joshua from getting his badly desired rematch. Joshua absolutely needs the rematch with Ruiz to help repair his shattered image. It’ll be interesting if Ruiz chooses not to take the fight. With the way Hearn is talking, you have to wonder whether he negotiated anything with Ruiz and his team. Some Boxing fans believe that Hearn is strictly going by the rematch clause in deciding the particulars about the rematch, and that goes for Ruiz’s purse.
Hearn sounds combative. If Joshua is going to be getting the lion’s share and Ruiz just a trifle, it’s no wonder he’s not excited at fighting AJ again. If Ruiz is resentful about the pay imbalance, he could drag his feet through the promotion of the fight. He would obviously still go through with it, but with predictably less enthusiasm than in the first fight.
Hearn: Ruiz Jr. wants a plane for his jewelry
“I think he wants his own plane for his jewelry that he bought since the fight,” said Hearn about Ruiz Jr, wanting more more money that what he’s supposed to get with the rematch clause for the Joshua fight. “So this is just the game of Boxing. Contractually, he knows he’s completely bound into this fight. There are some things he may want in this fight. He wants some questions answered, which I would be asking the same questions as well. But like I said; both camps were written to the governing bodies to confirm the date and the venue for the fight. Of course,” said Hearn when asked if Ruiz wants more money for the rematch. “He doesn’t have to. He’s got a contract,” said Hearn
Hearn seems to be enjoying at teasing Ruiz for flaunting some of his newfound wealth. Ruiz wants to be paid well, because he under what he’s bringing to this fight. If this were just Joshua making a simple title defense against Jarrell Miller, Carlos Takam or Alexander Povetkin, there would be far less interest in his December 7th fight in SAudi Arabia. Ruiz’s seventh round knockout win over Joshua has made the British fighter more popular. Since it was Ruiz that did it, he should enjoy in sharing equally the plunder with Joshua and Hearn. Having a 50-50 share of the booty makes sense for Ruiz, because he’s a significant part of this.
Ruiz has an obligation to honor his contract says Hearn
“Andy Ruiz got one of the greatest gifts of all time,” said Hearn. “He was picked off the list of fighters to fight Anthony Joshua for multi-million dollars, where he hadn’t earned a tenth of that in the past, and he got a shot at the world heavyweight title,” said Hearn. Unfortunately for him or fortunately, that comes with a water-tight rematch clause with all the information set for within. By the way; that rematch clause was negotiated by him and his team. So they were over the moon with that deal. Since he won, all his mates are telling him, ‘you should be getting this, and you should be getting that.’ So really, he’s probably not happy he’s got to fight Anthony Joshua again [for the money that he’s contractually being paid]. Contractually, he has to.
So does he want more money for the fight? Absolutely. Do we have to give it to him? Absolutely not! But we will make sure he’s happy, and respected as a world champion. I like Andy Ruiz. He has an obligation as a man to honor what he agreed, and what he signed,” said Hearn.
Eddie is coming from an angle that Ruiz should be grateful that he got the fight with Joshua at all, and therefore he should be happy with what he’s getting. Hearn mentioning how the rematch clause is “water-tight rematch” makes it seem obvious that Ruiz isn’t happy with what he’s getting for the fight with Joshua.
Hearn says Joshua would receive no credit for beating Ruiz in UK
“The SAudi’s actually confirming that the offer was real, because we’ve had numerous approaches not just from the SAudi’s, but from that region with lots of promises in the past,” said Hearn. “The SAudis are the ones that delivered. The neutral venue is important. All of these conversations we’ve had with Ruiz’s team throughout the whole process. When we told them it was in the UK, it was, ‘Ah.’ When we said SAudi Arabia was in play, they said, ‘We much prefer SAudi.’ So they got their WISh in the end. I felt that Ruiz would have moaned, and moaned and moaned in a UK fight [against Joshua]. Joshua wasn’t going to win. He wouldn’t have gotten any credit in beating him in his backyard.
Everybody has been trying to get a fight here,” said Hearn about the promoters trying to setup fights in SAudi Arabia. “We were the one that was able to do it. We were the trailblazers. Now everybody is going to do it. Every promoter in the world has tried to stage a fight here; myself, Al Haymon, Bob Arum and Golden Boy. We were the first ones to get the mega-fight [in SAudi Arabia]. We are the trailblazers. Now everybody is going to be on the case, and everybody is going to go to other countries, and they’ll be doing it as well. This is going to change Boxing forever, and this is going to be an iconic fight,” said Hearn.
Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) would get credit for beating Ruiz in the UK, as long as the referee didn’t play a huge hand in the outcome. If the referee were to prevent Ruiz from fighting Joshua on the inside like we saw in the AJ vs. Joseph Parker fight, then he wouldn’t get credit.