In what is some absolutely colossal sporting news for the Middle East, the much-anticipated boxing rematch between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr is set to take place in Saudi Arabia this December.
Full details are to be announced in the coming days but, following British former heavyweight champion Joshua’s shock defeat to Ruiz Jr in New York on June 1, the two are set to rematch on the edge the capital city, Riyadh, on Saturday December 7.
Joshua had been undefeated in his career before his surprise defeat to massive underdog Ruiz Jr at Madison Square Garden - which also happened to be his first major bout outside the UK.
Whether he’ll be able to return to form, again on foreign soil, will form a major narrative of the former champion’s legacy, as he’ll attempt to regain the three belts he lost to Ruiz.
The long-term view is for Joshua to set up a fight with US champion Deontay Wilder, but it is believed that won’t happen unless Joshua can bring some belts to the table.
The fight, already dubbed the “Clash on the Dunes”, will take place in early December at historical UNESCO site of Diriyah on the outskirts of Riyadh. Watch this space on how to get tickets on what’s bound to be one of the most significant sporting events the region has ever played host to.
Stay close to Time Out for more details.