Anthony Joshua responds to 'sportwashing' Saudi human rights claims

British boxer Anthony Joshua says he would "definitely be bothered" if his world heavyweight title fight with Andy Ruiz Jr was being used to 'sportswash' human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia.

Joshua is trying to reclaim three of the heavyweight world titles he lost to Ruiz in June by beating the American on Sunday morning in Diriyah.

Human Rights campaigners have criticised the fight's location and urged Joshua to "speak out" about issues in the country.

"In the future maybe I can bear a different kind of flag," Joshua said.

"But at the minute it's a world championship flag. I just want to do a job."

Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn, who is also the promoter New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker, has openly stated that a huge financial commitment by Saudi's General Sports Authority (GSA) left little option but to stage the bout in the kingdom.

Joshua, who holds ambassador posts with several high-profile brands and who works closely with a number of charities, told the BBC that fighting in Saudi did not "necessarily" detract from his image as a role model.

Asked how he would feel if the event was part of a move to 'sportswash' over wrongdoing, he said: "If that was the case I would definitely have to say I would be bothered - but my only focus is the boxing.

"I feel like taking boxing globally is what a world champion should be doing. You fight around the world."

Joshua was also asked if his status as a role model may be undermined by fighting in the country.

"Not necessarily," he said. "I just came here for the boxing opportunity. I look around and everyone seems pretty happy and chilled. I've not seen anyone in a negative light out here, everyone seems to be having a good time.

"As an individual I try to bring positivity and light everywhere I go. I'm just seeing it from my eyes alone but for sure the country in itself is trying to do a good job politically.

"For the sporting side of things, I just feel I've got a fight to focus on."