Anthony Joshua says ideal venue for Andy Ruiz Jr rematch is Principality Stadium in Cardiff
"I'm going to battle for it to be in the UK, because it's my stomping ground."
By Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 06/08/19 4:26pm
Anthony Joshua is willing to fight Andy Ruiz Jr on "neutral ground", but the British heavyweight star would love the rematch to be staged in Cardiff.
Joshua's second world-title fight with Ruiz Jr is yet to be confirmed following the Mexican's shock victory at Madison Square Garden in New York, although Matchroom Boxing boss Eddie Hearn has suggested a final decision is edging closer.
Ruiz Jr has voiced his displeasure at the prospect of travelling to the UK, with Joshua remaining respectful of his wishes, but the Brit admits that home advantage could be crucial as he attempts to avenge the seventh-round knockout loss in June.
"Ruiz, I've seen he's done a lot of talking about what he wants, but he don't call the shots in that sense, it's a team effort," Joshua exclusively told Sky Sports.
"It's fine, I don't mind fighting him in America, I've done it before, and I'd love to fight here because I had no reason to go in the first place.
"I went there off my own back, so for the rematch now, I would love it to be in Cardiff, however, [if] it's going to be on neutral ground, Ruiz is the champ, we'll kind of make some calls as well in that situation.
"But I'm going to battle for it to be in the UK, because it's my stomping ground. I done one out there, so let's do the rematch here. I think it will be amazing before the year is out and I'll definitely be having a lovely new years with my family.
"You've got two ends of it. There's one, I'd fight in Tijuana and Ruiz's uncle could be the referee and I would still whoop him. It don't matter to me where it is, there's that aspect, but then there's the other aspect of the British fans that have been riding with me from day one want to see me get them belts back.
"Walking out in Cardiff in front of 70, 80, 90,000 people screaming and rooting for you to win, that type of energy that goes through your body is unstoppable, and I think that could give me that little bit of edge I need to win those belts."
Joshua insists he does not know when the rematch terms will be finalised, with dates in November and December being considered, and was not interested in taking a warm-up fight.
"I've taken a step back from the business, so the decisions are due when the decisions are due, and I leave that to the decision-makers," he said.
"What I need to focus on now is my training, so I know there's a rematch, I know it's going to be this year."
Asked about alternative opponents to Ruiz Jr, he added: "Anyone who tells me different, they ain't cut from the same cloth as me.
"Who is my warm-up fight going to be? [Oleksandr] Usyk, [Luis] Ortiz, Dillian Whyte? These are top-level boxers and I've got the chance to fight for the heavyweight championship right in front of me."
The 29-year-old revealed his self doubts after a first professional defeat, but long-term coach Rob McCracken will remain as he looks to strengthen his training team.
"To add to what we have, I feel like it can only make us a better and stronger team," he said.
"Rob tells me what he wants as well, I tell Rob what I want. We're still open.
"After I lost, I said 'man, am I good enough?' But then I asked myself, if I lack in skill, I'm going to build up my fitness, if I lack in fitness, I'm going to build up my skill.
"Where I'm not so good in, I'm going to add in different aspects and that way I can become a full 360 fighter."