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Ruiz v Joshua II: AJ deals with uncomfortable Saudi Arabia questions

By Russell Greaves

Riyadh, December 6: Anthony Joshua says he "would be bothered" if his rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr was used to distract people from Saudi Arabia's human rights record.

Saturday's fight is being staged near the Saudi capital of Riyadh in a decision which has attracted controversy.

Briton Joshua has been encouraged to take a stand but, while he acknowledged some discomfort, his immediate focus is on reclaiming his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles.

"In the future maybe I can bear a different kind of flag," he told BBC Sport.

"But at the minute it's a world championship flag. I just want to do a job."

When asked how he would respond if the bout was used to 'sportswash' any improper conduct from the host country, he added: "If that was the case, I would definitely have to say I would be bothered - but my only focus is the boxing.

"I feel like taking boxing global is what a world champion should be doing. You fight around the world."

Joshua was stunned by Ruiz, a late replacement for Jarrell Miller, at Madison Square Garden in the initial fight that saw him knocked down four times.

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Read more about: boxing anthony joshua wba wbo ibf
Story first published: Friday, December 6, 2019, 0:10 [IST]
Other articles published on Dec 6, 2019
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