15,000 to Watch Joshua, Ruiz Match

The purpose-built venue for Anthony Joshua’s rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia is close to completion.

Work on the 15,000-seat Diriyah Arena only began two months before the fight, which is on December 7.

Briton Joshua is seeking to regain the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles after June’s shock defeat by Ruiz in New York.

“The arena and site are utterly breathtaking. We can’t wait,” said promoter Eddie Hearn.

Joshua visited the venue after landing in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

The Diriyah Arena was built by 175 staff and incorporates 295 tonnes of steel. It will take a month to deconstruct after the bout, with 95 percent of the material being reused to stage other events. Saudi Arabia was chosen to host the match ahead of rival proposals from Cardiff’s Principality Stadium and Dubai. The country hosted British boxer Amir Khan’s win over Billy Dib in July and Callum Smith’s success over George Groves in the World Boxing Super Series final in September 2018.

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