ANTHONY JOSHUA’S rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr is in doubt because the Mexican wants more money before he signs the contract.
Despite Ruiz agreeing the terms for a rematch before the original bout, he is now believed to want more than the £8million purse on offer.
Saudi investors stumped up £83m to hold Part II in Diriyah on December 7.
Even though Ruiz is the champ, original terms agreed before he shocked the world and battered Joshua means he could take home half of what AJ does from the dust up in the desert.
And now, according to The Athletic, Ruiz “isn’t expected to sign off on the rematch in Saudi Arabia unless he’s guaranteed a significantly higher purse”.
Underdog champion Ruiz refused to travel to the UK to rematch Joshua, voicing concerns after Dillian Whyte was cleared to box Oscar Rivas last month despite an “adverse finding” in a pre-fight drug test.
AJ was willing to right the wrong at the scene of the crime and return to New York, having been dropped four times on his US debut before the seventh round stoppage loss at Madison Square Garden.
But according to The Athletic “in excess” of £33m was paid as a site fee for the fight held in Saudi Arabia.
Joshua is thought to have made £18m for the first fight two months ago with 25-1 outsider Ruiz taking £5m after being drafted in to replace drug cheat Jarrell Miller.
But the Middle East showdown in the winter is set to earn AJ a career high payday.
Ruiz, though, will not benefit from the heavily invested rematch, having already signed his guaranteed fixed rematch purse before the first bout.
However, this has now become a major sticking point with the Saudis bankrolling the rematch.
There is another way Ruiz could get out of the rematch taking place in the Middle East – over security concerns.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is on Level 2 of the US travel advisory list.
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This states that visitors need to “exercise increased caution due to terrorism and the threat of missile and drone attacks”.
Ruiz has appeared to favour the bout taking place in his homeland of Mexico.
Joshua even said he wouldn’t mind that and would allow Ruiz’s uncle to “be the referee” as he would still “whoop him”.