By Gavin Gibbon
Diriyah outdoor arena to host World Heavyweight Championship rematch between Andy Ruiz Jr and Anthony Joshua on Saturday
Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has claimed Saudi Arabia could become the ‘home of boxing’.
Hearn is behind this weekend’s big money World Heavyweight Championship rematch between Andy Ruiz Jr and Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia at the specially built 15,000-seat outdoor arena in Diriyah.
British boxers Amir Khan and George Groves have both appeared in fights in the last two years, and Hearn has revealed the country is preparing to bid for more title fights in the future, including a potentially explosive match-up between Joshua and American Deontay Wilder.
Hearn, who is Joshua’s Matchroom promoter, is quoted in The Times as saying: “You’re going to be regularly coming out here.
“They want to make Saudi the home of boxing. I know the fights they are looking at for next year.”
The Diriyah Arena will be operated by over 2,000 staff members and will seat 300 media, with more accommodated in a nearby media centre.
World Heavyweight champion Ruiz said: “It’s amazing man, it’s crazy how they built everything in a month and a half. It’s amazing to be fighting over here, it’s going to be really historic and I’m planning to make history over here.”
Fans from over 65 countries have bought tickets for Saturday’s epic bout.
Joshua added: “It’ll definitely be a night people will tell their grandchildren they were at, one of those iconic evenings of boxing. Everyone from Saudi has been brilliant to work with.”