Anthony Joshua will attempt to reclaim his heavyweight titles from Andy Ruiz Jr. before the end of year after activating a rematch clause in his contract, promoter Eddie Hearn said on Tuesday.
In a brief post on Twitter, Hearn said Joshua had opted for an immediate rematch against Ruiz Jr, who shocked the boxing world with a seventh-round knockout of the British fighter on Saturday.
“After meetings with AJ, (trainer) Rob (McCracken) and the management team in NY, we have today triggered the contracted rematch clause with Andy Ruiz Jnr,” Hearn wrote. “The fight will take place in Nov/Dec at a venue to be confirmed shortly.”
Ruiz Jr. pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the history of the heavyweight division at Madison Square Garden on Saturday with his sensational stoppage of Joshua, the previously unbeaten WBA, IBF, and WBO heavyweight champion.
The 29-year-old Ruiz started the fight as a massive 32-1 underdog but floored Joshua four times on his way to a win which upended the heavyweight division.
While Hearn has indicated the rematch is likely to take place in Britain, where Joshua regularly sells out large-capacity venues, some reports have indicated it may yet take place in Las Vegas or Los Angeles.
“If AJ bounces back and defeats Ruiz in a rematch, he’s a bigger star than he was prior to [Saturday] night,” Hearn said. “The rematch is so important to his career, we went to Ruiz’s country so I expect the next one to take place in the UK,” he added.
Joshua meanwhile has dismissed suggestions he may require a warm-up fight to prepare himself for a Ruiz rematch.
“What’s a warm-up fight?” he told British reporters after Saturday’s defeat.
“I’m down to scrap. No warm-up. That’d be stupid. No way.”