By Charles Brun: In response to Andy Ruiz Jr. saying that the rematch with Anthony Joshua will be taking place in the U.S, Eddie Hearn says he could wind up in a legal fight that could sideline his boxing career for years and cost him a lot of money. It’s believed that Ruiz, 29, and his team are looking to get a better deal from Hearn and his Matchroom Promotions for the rematch.
The fight could bring in over $100 million, and with Ruiz’s purse being around $9 million, it’s understandable why he’d want a better deal. If Joshua is getting $90 million, and Ruiz only $9 million, there’s a tremendous imbalance. If not for Ruiz, Joshua’s next fight would likely bring in far less money.
The rematch clause that Ruiz Jr. signed for the first fight with Joshua spells out that Matchroom can pick the location for the second fight, as well as his purse. Where it becomes a problem is that if the fight brings in over nine figures, Ruiz, the IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion, is arguably not even getting a challenger’s cut against a champ. It flips things upside down in a monstrous way, making it look like Joshua is the champion, and Ruiz a mere voluntary challenger. It’s unclear whether Ruiz Jr. would have gotten the fight with Joshua had he rejected the terms for the rematch clause.
Ruiz’s win over Joshua has resulted in the British heavyweight now being involved in a fight that could dwarf his fight with Wladimir Klitschko in 2017. Hearn’s tone has sounded hard and unyielding when it comes to giving Ruiz more money for the fight.
Ruiz says rematch with Joshua will be on “my terms”
“We got the real news coming soon,” said Ruiz Jr. on his social media platform. “The fight is going to happen soon. It’s going to be on my terms and our terms. We’re going to bring it back here to the United States…I don’t have no protection over there,” said Ruiz.
Despite Hearn making an announcement last Friday about the Joshua-Ruiz Jr. rematch taking place on December 7 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Ruiz Jr. isn’t on board having it take place in that country. He says he wants the fight back in the United States. The question is why didn’t Hearn make sure that Ruiz and his team were in agreement to fighting the rematch in Saudi Arabia before he went ahead and put the deal together.
In hindsight, things would have been better had Hearn gotten the green light from Team Ruiz before he chose to stage the fight in a far away country like Saudi Arabia. If Ruiz wanted more money, Hearn could have gone back to Joshua and asked him if he was willing to give the American a better deal.
Hearn: Ruiz could be out of boxing for years with legal battle
“His choice is to have a legal battle that could put him out of boxing for years, or to defend his belts for a lot of money against a guy he has already beaten. There isn’t any doubt he will take the fight,” said Hearn.
It’s difficult to imagine Hearn being able to keep Ruiz Jr. fighting for many years. However, if Ruiz chooses not to take the Joshua rematch, he could wind up losing his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles with them being stripped one by one. Obviously, that won’t help Joshua redeem himself, because he’ll still be seen in the light as the conquered champion by Ruiz Jr. Moreover, Joshua and Hearn will be viewed in a bad light by boxing fans if they get the impression that Ruiz was given a poor purse split for the rematch with it slanted heavily in AJ’s favor.
Grow through what you go through 💯 pic.twitter.com/uD5jqUgthC
— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyfjoshua) June 25, 2019
If the purse split is 90-10 in Joshua’s favor, fans will have a difficult time understanding that, given that Ruiz is the one that won last June, not AJ. As the IBF/WBA/WBO champion, Ruiz should in theory be getting a respectable purse split for the rematch. If Joshua getting a massive amount of money in comparison to Ruiz, it’s going to rub a lot of boxing fans the wrong way. It’s common sense that a three-belt world champion like Ruiz should be getting good money for the rematch.
Ruiz Jr. is contractually bound says Hearn
“They are contractually bound for the rematch,” said Hearn. “There are no conversations between the two teams about not doing the fight. I don’t perceive a problem. He [Ruiz] signed a contract with us that he was absolutely over the moon with, that gave him the opportunity of a lifetime. He will 100 per cent honor that contract,” said Hearn.
Hearn is already talking about a news conference for the Joshua-Ruiz Jr. rematch that will be taking place soon in Saudi Arabia. Additionally, there will be other press conferences in New York and London, England to promote the fight.
Joshua was trying to break into the United States Market
In the last week, Hearn has talked of how Ruiz Jr. was given an opportunity to fight Joshua. Hearn makes it sound like Ruiz should be grateful for the opportunity he was given to fight such a great heavyweight champion like Joshua. However, the reality is that Hearn wanted Joshua to break into the U.S market by beating an American heavyweight. Ruiz wasn’t picked out by Hearn because he wanted to help him personally.
Andy was selected so that Joshua could try and become a star in the lucrative U.S market. Joshua had already established himself in the UK as a big star, and Hearn wanted to do the same thing in the U.S. Unfortunately, it looks like Joshua and Hearn have given up trying to break into the U.S market. The logical thing would have been for Joshua to come right back after he was destroyed by Ruiz, but doesn’t look like he or Hearn want to risk it.