(CNN) — Muhammad Ali’s fights against George Foreman –“the Rumble in the Jungle” — and Joe Frazier — that the”Thrilla in Manila” — helped establish boxing heavyweight division in the world public’s consciousness.
Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn is expecting the rematch between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr.. In Saudi Arabia — even the”Clash of the Dunes” — could do the exact same and”alter boxing forever.”
The struggle is scheduled to be held at Diriyah, to the outskirts of Riyadh, on December 7.
Saudi Arabia has sponsored a variety of conflicts in recent times, including Amir Khan’s triumph over Billy Dib, but Amnesty International UK has urged Joshua to”inform himself of their human rights situation” in the Middle East nation before the rematch.
“We had approaches from Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Qatar and Abu Dhabi,” Hearn told a media conference at London, explaining the decision to stage the fight Riyadh.
“We needed to move someplace that believed in the game of boxing, that had an eyesight. We already knew Saudi Arabia was to get actual and understood they had been investing in the game of boxing. That was very important for all of us.”
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Saudi Arabia has just hosted sporting events like football’s Italian Super Cup, the opening race of the 2018-19 Formula E year and will point the world’s richest horse race at 2020.
However, there are anxieties over the present human rights crackdown”with women’s rights activists, lawyers and members of the minority community all being targeted,” based on Amnesty International UK.
“It is very likely to be still another chance for the Saudi government to try to’sportswash’ their badly tarnished image,” explained Felix Jakens,” Amnesty International UK’s Head of Campaigns.
“I knew that when we made the decision not every response could be favorable, which there could be controversy and criticism,” Hearn told the Guardian, in response to this criticism of staging the fight in Saudi Arabia. “I’m a boxing promoter and sometimes the criticism along with the curiosity will result in an case of an extraordinary magnitude.”
Hearn also considers the country’s growing population — over 34 million — will give boxing a stage to attain new heights of popularity.
“If Saudi Arabia is going to invest in those conflicts, together with the people they have, together with the capacity to increase the game of boxing, then you might be seeing a major shift in the dynamics of this game, which truly excites me,” Hearn added.
CNN has reached out to Saudi Arabian government officials but has yet to get a response.
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Joshua, who suffered a shock defeat once the heavyweight pair met in nyc in June, posted a message on interpersonal websites confirming the fight but his Mexican competition appears to have other thoughts.
On Wednesday, a movie on social media appeared to show Ruiz Jr. blowing off the fight could be held in Saudi Arabia and a reported tv appearance later added to this confusion.
“I have not signed anything yet, we are negotiating that which,” he told ESPN at Mexico, prior to saying he would prefer the rematch to take place in New York.
But, Hearn said both fighters have signed the contract and also supported the fight would go ahead.
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Ruiz, who was born in California but has Mexican parents, had made calls to get the rematch to be hauled at Tijuana in which he made his professional debut in 2009.
The Principality Stadium in Wales — the site of two specialist victories for Joshua — had previously been considered as the most likely site to the fight.
“Ruiz had a moan about the united kingdom,” added Hearn. “We said: there’s your impartial venue”
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