Ruiz Jr vs Joshua: Dirty Money?
Boxing has always been about the dollar, and in many ways taking the Andy Ruiz Jr Anthony Joshua rematch to Saudi Arabia is the perfect marriage, confirmation to what we already knew. It’s being promoted as “Clash on the Dunes” but “Cash on the Dunes” would be a better description for the posters.
The money wheel will go round and round until the sport is no more, and whatever spin we are fed, don’t be fooled.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with everyone involved making as much money as they can, but please say it as it is, and it would be nice if there was some limit to how they make their millions.
The much-reported abysmal Human Rights violations in Saudi Arabia don’t seem to matter when there is a substantial profit to make. If you are looking for the sport to show some moral guidance from the powers that be in boxing, history tells us you need to look elsewhere.
Boxing is not the first sport to embrace Saudi Arabia, but we have seen nothing on this scale. The biggest fight in the sport will be seen live by an exclusive audience.
Fans along with the fighters, keep the sport going, but are for the most part taken for granted, treated as stupid enough to buy into anything. If you as a fan think you matter, the reality is that you don’t.
Joshua stands to make a reported $90 million from the rematch, probably rising to a much greater amount, principles obviously do have a price.
The Dillian Whyte affair may or may not be an inconvenient truth, but it might have given Ruiz a convenient excuse not to come to Joshua’s home turf.
Whatever power Ruiz had in the negotiations, he almost certainly used it. But if as reported Ruiz had no say where the rematch took place, it might tell you where the priorities lie for Team Joshua.
It should be about the victory nothing else, give your fighter the best possible chance of getting the win, confidence or cashing out, I wonder. Redemption or the cash machine.
If the choice for Joshua was home advantage or a few more pennies in the jar, it might be a decision he regrets further down the line. Judging from the first fight between the pair in New York, Joshua will need every little advantage he can get.
Joshua can’t explain his performance away easily, trying to blaming the referee won’t convince anyone. Joshua was hurt without question but he seemed to fold mentally, he went over too easily at times, the demons of that night will be hard to dismiss.
If Joshua has the mindset I want the fight anywhere, it doesn’t matter, then full credit to him, but in a sport where marginal gains are often the difference, a few home comforts could be crucial.
Whatever obscene amounts of money are generated from the rematch, we have missed out on having so much more. It won’t be the spectacle it could have been, it should have been.
On December 7th we will find out if the first meeting was just a blip in the career of Joshua, a lack of focus or a lack of ability.