Boxer Anthony Joshua was asked about his participation in an upcoming world championship fight against Andy Ruiz in Saudi Arabia on December 7 despite the country’s abysmal record on human rights, particularly toward gay people.
Said Joshua to BBC Sports’ Natalie Pirks: “There are certain polices that are in place in the country and there are certain policies we just have to abide by, and I abide by the law and that’s just how it goes in certain places. …
Said Pirks: “If you’re gay, you can be put to death there. That’s not abiding by the law, that’s taking the fight somewhere where a country is…”
“I feel like in this situation I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t, a certain thing I can’t win for,” Joshua continued. “I feel like I stand in the middle and I feel like boxing is just trying to open up the barriers for people to travel and see. If you cant come to the country, you can still watch it, you’re still open to support and I appreciate your support from every community. I feel like so many communities have been through a lot of stuff, even my own community, we’re still going through stuff. If I’m going to fight for one cause, I’m going to fight for every cause and right now the cause I’m fighting for is getting my belts back. I do want to put on that cape and be like the spokesman but I’ve got some big tasks ahead of me at the minute. I feel I’m still young, I’ve still got time – there will be a time where I may be more involved in certain aspects where we stand up and try and make change.”