DAZN is pushing for the Andy Ruiz Jr.-Anthony Joshua rematch to take place in New York just like the first fight, according to a report.
DAZN, a standalone subscription channel specializing in combat sports, aired Saturday’s fight between Ruiz and Joshua that saw a major upset as Joshua lost via 7th-round TKO in a stunner at Madison Square Garden. The fight marked Joshua’s first in the US as the British fighter’s previous 22 fights all took place in the UK.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn said after the fight that he expected a rematch to take place in November or December probably in the UK, but DAZN officials met with Joshua this week to discuss doing the rematch in New York, according to boxing reporter Chris Mannix.
DAZN officials this week—including executive chairman John Skipper—met with Anthony Joshua to discuss bringing the rematch with Andy Ruiz back to New York. Likelihood is that the rematch takes place in the UK—but it will be Joshua’s call.
— Chris Mannix (@SIChrisMannix) June 6, 2019
Joshua has built up a large following in the UK, but his debut in the US saw him get knocked down four times. Successfully breaking through in the United States is vital to being universally respected in the boxing world. Returning to the UK where he has the fan support and it’s more comfortable would signal to fans that he had to retreat and couldn’t handle the big stage. DAZN knows that and wants him to prove to US fans he’s not scared and that he is capable of a win. It’s better for the sport overall for him to win in New York rather than return to his bubble in the UK.
From Ricky Hatton to Prince Naseem Hamed, boxing is full of fighters who got hyped up in the UK and failed to deliver in the US. DAZN doesn’t want Joshua to fall in the same group. Joshua and Hearn shouldn’t want that either.