Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua focused on world heavyweight glory as they showcase skills at Riyadh public workout

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Saudi boxing fans got a sneak peak look at Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr. ahead of the much-anticipated ‘Clash On The Dunes’ bout at a public training session in Riyadh on Tuesday. (Thamer Alfuraiji)
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Saudi boxing fans got a sneak peak look at Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr. ahead of the much-anticipated ‘Clash On The Dunes’ bout at a public training session in Riyadh on Tuesday. (Thamer Alfuraiji)
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Saudi boxing fans got a sneak peak look at Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr. ahead of the much-anticipated ‘Clash On The Dunes’ bout at a public training session in Riyadh on Tuesday. (Thamer Alfuraiji)
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Saudi boxing fans got a sneak peak look at Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr. ahead of the much-anticipated ‘Clash On The Dunes’ bout at a public training session in Riyadh on Tuesday. (Thamer Alfuraiji)
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Saudi boxing fans got a sneak peak look at Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr. ahead of the much-anticipated ‘Clash On The Dunes’ bout at a public training session in Riyadh on Tuesday. (Thamer Alfuraiji)
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Saudi boxing fans got a sneak peak look at Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr. ahead of the much-anticipated ‘Clash On The Dunes’ bout at a public training session in Riyadh on Tuesday. (Thamer Alfuraiji)
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Saudi boxing fans got a sneak peak look at Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr. ahead of the much-anticipated ‘Clash On The Dunes’ bout at a public training session in Riyadh on Tuesday. (Thamer Alfuraiji)
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Saudi boxing fans got a sneak peak look at Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr. ahead of the much-anticipated ‘Clash On The Dunes’ bout at a public training session in Riyadh on Tuesday. (Thamer Alfuraiji)
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Saudi boxing fans got a sneak peak look at Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr. ahead of the much-anticipated ‘Clash On The Dunes’ bout at a public training session in Riyadh on Tuesday. (Thamer Alfuraiji)
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Saudi boxing fans got a sneak peak look at Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr. ahead of the much-anticipated ‘Clash On The Dunes’ bout at a public training session in Riyadh on Tuesday. (Thamer Alfuraiji)
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Local fighter Zuhayr Al-Qahtani from Jeddah, and known as the Arabian Warrior as well as Saudi Arabia’s first boxer, was cheered on by the locals. (Thamer Alfuraiji)
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Local fighter Zuhayr Al-Qahtani from Jeddah, and known as the Arabian Warrior as well as Saudi Arabia’s first boxer, was cheered on by the locals. (Thamer Alfuraiji)
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Local fighter Zuhayr Al-Qahtani from Jeddah, and known as the Arabian Warrior as well as Saudi Arabia’s first boxer, was cheered on by the locals. (Thamer Alfuraiji)
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Local fighter Zuhayr Al-Qahtani from Jeddah, and known as the Arabian Warrior as well as Saudi Arabia’s first boxer, was cheered on by the locals. (Thamer Alfuraiji)
Updated 04 December 2019

Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua focused on world heavyweight glory as they showcase skills at Riyadh public workout

  • A total of 12 boxers participated in the public workouts
  • Joshua greeted fans with “Assalamu Alaykum” after his workout

RIYADH: Saudi boxing fans got a sneak peek at Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr. ahead of the much-anticipated ‘Clash On The Dunes’ bout at a public training session in Riyadh on Tuesday.
A total of 12 boxers participated in the workouts, giving them a chance to showcase their skills in front of a live audience.
Held in the heart of the Information Technology & Communications Complex (ITCC), a boxing ring was set up for the event. Each boxer had about ten minutes to warm up, show off some jabs, and squeeze in a spot of extra training with their coach before the big day.
Dozens of international and local media flocked to the training session to capture footage and to hear from the boxers as they wrap up preparations for what is thought to be one of the biggest sporting events of the year.
Joshua greeted fans with “Assalamu Alaykum” after his workout, telling reporters that he was excited about the turnout and eager to reclaim his belts.
“All I’m doing is going to win. That’s what I’m focused on. I’m not really looking for anything except the win,” he said.
He also said that he didn’t think that his second fight with Ruiz would be his last.
“If he’s dedicated to the game, we’ll definitely see each other a third time down the line as well. This isn’t going to be the last time I see Andy Ruiz in the ring.
“I am forever changing, and that’s what training camp is all about leading up to the clash, I’m working night and day and to win is what I’m focused on,” the British fighter added.
American Ruiz Jr. said he had more to show the world after his shock victory against Joshua in June, as well as how happy he was to be back in the Kingdom and looking forward to the rematch.
“I did not want to show off too much, I just wanted to give out a little glimpse,” said Ruiz of the June fight.
“This is not going to be my first or my last time. You’re going to see a lot of Andy Ruiz here in Saudi Arabia,” he added.
However, although he said that he was confident that he could win again, he said he did not think of himself as having any particular advantages over Joshua despite having beaten him before.
“I don’t want to underestimate any fighter, because I respect every fighter that comes here in this ring. We all risk our lives here to provide for our loved ones.
“I’m just ready for December 7 to show all the fans a good fight. I’m just prepared to win, to use all the tools I have.”
Local fighter Zuhayr Al-Qahtani from Jeddah, and known as the Arabian Warrior as well as Saudi Arabia’s first boxer, was cheered on by the locals in the crowd as he got into the ring with his coach.
Al-Qahtani told reporters after his warm-up how happy he was to be included in the upcoming event.
“I actually met Anthony Joshua after his fifth fight and told him he would one day become a world champion and that I would fight on his undercard, so this is a dream come true,” he said.
Other boxers who participated in the public workout included Britain’s Dillian Whyte, Russia’s Alexander Povetkin, and American Eric Molina.
The “Clash on The Dunes” is part of Diriyah Season, a month-long festival of sports and entertainment, which began with Formula E on Nov. 22 and 23, and will include events such as the Diriyah Tennis Cup and the Diriyah Equestrian Festival. Tickets are available on the event’s website, as well as links to official streams of the match.


Nadal, Kyrgios advance as freak weather hits Australian Open

Updated 23 January 2020

Nadal, Kyrgios advance as freak weather hits Australian Open

  • The weather-disrupted tournament on Thursday was hit by dirty rain which left courts muddy and unplayable.

MELBOURNE: Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios reached the Australian Open third round on Thursday after the weather-disrupted tournament faced a new challenge: Dirty rain which left courts muddy and unplayable.

After a day of cleanup operations and delays, Australia’s Kyrgios fought his way past Frenchman Gilles Simon in four sets and Wimbledon champion Simona Halep stamped her class with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Britain’s Harriet Dar, while Belinda Bencic knocked out former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko — she was playing despite the sudden death of her father this month.

Nadal, a 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), 6-1 winner over Argentina’s Federico Delbonis, miscued a shot that hit a ballgirl in the head, but he melted hearts when he apologized and gave her a kiss on the cheek.

“I was so scared for her, honestly,” the 19-time Grand Slam winner said. “The ball was quick and straight on the head. She’s a very brave girl.”

Kyrgios, increasingly popular with home fans after his fundraising efforts for Australia’s bushfire crisis, was cruising at two sets up when he dropped the third set and with it, his composure.

But just when it looked like he would suffer one of his trademark implosions, he rallied for a 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 victory.

“I definitely lost my way a little bit ... but I decided to refocus,” Kyrgios said of his mini-meltdown in the third set. “I could have gone to a very dark place in the fourth set but I put it away.”

Kyrgios and Nadal stay on course for a fourth-round clash and the next instalment in their grudge match after the Aussie hit back at criticism from the “super salty” Spaniard last year.

Their victories followed a day of upheaval caused by the dirty rain, the latest weather problem at a tournament which has contended with bushfire smoke, heavy downpours and strong wind.

Rain mixed with a dust storm coated the Melbourne Park facilities in a fine layer of mud which took hours to clean and made many outside courts temporarily unusable.

As action resumed Alexander Zverev, another man who has a running feud with Kyrgios, showed signs of a return to form as he downed Egor Gerasimov 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 7-5.

The German seventh seed has been practicing up to seven hours a day after a winless ATP Cup and the hard work paid off as he safely reached the third round.

However, fifth seed Dominic Thiem had a scare as he was taken to five sets by Australia’s 140th-ranked Alex Bolt before recovering his composure to win 6-2, 5-7, 6-7 (5/7), 6-1, 6-2.