boxing

Eddie Hearn Interview : “Joshua vs Ruiz II will be the biggest fight of this generation”

On AJ’s fight in Saudi Arabia - “It’ll be the biggest fight of this generation. You have to remember that there are 40 million people in Saudi Arabia. 70% of the population are under the age of 24.

On AJ’s fight in Saudi Arabia – “It’ll be the biggest fight of this generation. You have to remember that there are 40 million people in Saudi Arabia. 70% of the population are under the age of 24.

“There’s this perception that people from Saudi Arabia don’t follow boxing. Are you mad? Do you not think they saw the first fight? This event in Saudi is causing pandemonium amongst sports fans.

“Yes the backdrop is going to be the dunes in the desert, but the whole world will be watching this fight on December 7th. It’s the biggest fight of the year, it’s an epic fight, but the curiosity and controversy of the venue, the controversy of Ruiz being undecided in the build up, press conferences next week, this event is absolutely huge.”

On what AJ needs to do in the rematch to guarantee it’s revenge, not repeat

“I would say a better mindset said Hearn to Sportsman.com. “It’s interesting hearing his interviews with Sky and him saying ‘I don’t really want to fight Ruiz’. There was never a moment when we were making the fight where he said he didn’t want to fight Ruiz.

“However, what he means by that is that he didn’t have any motivation to fight Ruiz. He still wanted to win, he still trained hard but he didn’t have that edge and that edge is going to be key.

“I think next week at the press conference is going to be AJ’s first time as a professional, looking into the eyes of someone who’s beaten him. The build-up, the edge of this fight is going to be completely different.

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“AJ wants to knock him out. He didn’t look at him like that first time around, he gave him his belts to carry for a photo. It’s all changed now, so he’s got to be sharper, he’s got to be better with the jab, he’s got to be better with his feet, but it’s about the mindset and the will to win. This time around he has that more than ever.”

On what he’s planning if AJ loses the rematch

“It would be a hard defeat to take. People say ‘Do you think he’s finished?’, he’s 29. He’s had 24 fights and he’s lost to one man. He’s a competitor and he will want to go and rebuild again.

“How you lose is a different story, but I think he will win the fight. I also know that it’s a dangerous fight, he’s got a lot mentally to overcome. It’s going to be epic.”

On Bob Arum believing he made the wrong decision by taking the fight to Saudi Arabia

“Obviously there was a legal case put forward by us and he (Ruiz) changed his mind about having the fight in Saudi Arabia.

“Bob doesn’t know the ins and outs, but what Bob said was ‘Oh you should of gone to team Ruiz and see if he’s happy to go to Saudi Arabia’.

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“He has nothing to be happy about, we had a contract where we were allowed to choose the venue. He was told where the venue would be, from there it’s just a game of negotiations. That’s what it is.

“Eventually you work out a deal which suits everybody. He’s happy he’s at the press conference next week. Bob Arum is jealous because he can’t make a big heavyweight fight.

“Arum is more jealous because he used to have Andy Ruiz. Now he’s sick to his pants that he doesn’t have the World Heavyweight Champion. Now he’s making Tyson Fury versus Otto Wallin which I wouldn’t make my worst enemy watch.

On Bob Arum saying Dazn has been a disaster in America

“I think Bob’s a disaster at the moment. They’ve just announced last week that he’s Los Angeles event last week sold 1,400 tickets. They gave away 2,800 comps, now that’s a disaster for the sport of boxing.

“Bob’s very good at clouding the picture without noticing that he’s producing so much dross.

“He’s got Fury fighting Otto Wallin on Mexican Independence Day. It’s a complete flop, it’s a disaster.”

On when he expects Dillian Whyte to return

“December, possibly. He’s still got to come out with a clear statement with UKAD and show everybody was he was cleared and why he should be allowed to box again. That’s important for his career.

“They’ve got to get that right, because that’s ultra-important, but I see him boxing in December.”

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