Saudi Arabia's hosting of the world heavyweight title rematch between Anthony Joshua and champion Andy Ruiz Jr on Dec 7 has sparked accusations the Gulf kingdom is trying to "sports-wash" its tarnished human rights image.
This month Anthony Joshua said he was determined to get his "passion" back for boxing ahead of the rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr.
Joshua's former titles, the WBA "Super", IBF, WBO and IBO world heavyweight titles, now in the possession of Ruiz, are on the line. If his Snapchat is anything to go by, he seems to have cut a considerable amount of muscle off his physique, as he prepares for his highly-anticipated second encounter with Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia.
Promoters Matchroom Boxing said that the fight details would be officially revealed at a news conference in London tomorrow.More news: Blue-green algae takes the lives of three dogs
Cardiff's Principality Stadium was among the venues proposed for the rematch but Ruiz Jr had insisted the bout must take place either back in the United States or on neutral territory.
After being knocked down four times he was stopped in the seventh round on his U.S. debut, marking one of the biggest upsets in heavyweight history.
The Sun reported earlier Friday morning that the host country put up close to $100m guaranteed for the contest to take place in Riyadh.
"Despite some long-overdue reforms on women's rights, Saudi Arabia is now in the grip of a sweeping human rights crackdown - with women's rights activists, lawyers and members of the Shia minority community all being targeted".More news: Look at six shortlisted candidates for Team India`s head coach post
In July this year, British boxer Amir Khan won the WBC global welterweight title with a fourth round stoppage of Australian Billy Dib in Jeddah.
Ruiz has already said that it will be a repeat result, "I know his flaws, I can do a lot better".
Khan was reportedly paid £7 million to headline the event.
The former unified world welterweight champion is a Muslim and has embarked on pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia on a number of occasions, offering him his own perspective on the kingdom. "They had a huge concert where everyone was dancing and enjoying themselves".More news: USA gov’t introduces new rules restricting legal immigration
England was also touted as a venue, but Hearn suggested that it would be unfair to the champion to travel to Joshua's home country before Saudi Arabia emerged as a strong contender.