For the past month, rumors have been swirling about a highly anticipated matchup between Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol, two undefeated light heavyweight champions who hold all four world titles in the division. Boxing fans have longed for this showdown, and it seems Saudi influence could finally make it a reality.
Led by Turki Alalshih and his team, Saudi Arabia entered the boxing scene with a bang. The long-awaited fight between Beterbiev and Bivol is scheduled for June 1, and the winner will become the undisputed light heavyweight champion of the world.
Alalshikh confirmed this plan during his appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, expressing his determination to host the spectacular match on the first day of June. They announced a powerful event and the fight for the belt of the light heavyweight category is not everything.
The Saudi organizers, led by Alalshikh, do not stop at just one match.
They are capitalizing on the rivalry between two of the world's biggest boxing promoters — Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing and Frank Warren of Queensberry Promotions. In a revolutionary move, Saudi Arabia plans to organize a '5 on 5' event featuring five boxers from each camp.
This unprecedented clash of promoters is sure to add an extra layer of excitement to the already highly anticipated event. A great marketing move fueled by Saudi money guarantees us something new and spectacular. Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren, longtime rivals in the world of boxing promotion, agreed to this unique concept.
The specifics of the matches have yet to be revealed, and fans are eagerly awaiting the announcement of the participants and the potential fireworks that could follow. This will add to the importance of the role of the team in an individual sport such as boxing, and who knows, maybe some fighters will make a breakthrough because it is known that some people work better in a team.
Positive pressure, because your result affects others around you, is a big wind at your back in exhausting sports like boxing. The battle between Matchroom and Queensberry has been a long-standing narrative in sports, and now, thanks to the vision of Turki Alalshikh, fight fans will witness the handshake that broke the Internet.
Hearn, acknowledging the significance of the deal, said: "This will be an unprecedented night of boxing in Riyadh, and one that will be long remembered." Saudi Arabia pours huge funds into the promotion of sports and its country.
Such investments have intensified in the past few years, so we can watch the biggest world events and finals in Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are constantly introducing something new to improve the sport, and the decision on 5 vs 5 in boxing caused the amazement of all fans of this noble sport.
Saudi Arabia's influence on boxing
The Saudis are making significant progress especially in the world of boxing, hosting memorable events and attracting top fighters to their country. The prospects of witnessing historic matches and the pouring of Saudi millions into this sport have led athletes and fans of this sport to eagerly await further details about this possibly revolutionary event.
One of America's brightest boxing stars, Gervonta Davis, has found himself in the crosshairs of Saudi Arabia. Despite being a dominant force in the US, Davis has been reluctant to venture outside of US borders, with only one fight outside the country to his name.
However, Saudi Arabia, which is emerging as a boxing powerhouse, wants to bring Davis into its fold.
"They made me angry. If they want me, they have to send something to my door, say two Ferraris or something. Only then will I start thinking about going there.' ', are the words with which Gervonta Davis responded to Turki Alalshikh, who publicly said that he wanted him at the Event.
Unfazed by Davis' terms, Turki Alalshikh responded sharply to the boxer's request for two Ferraris, saying: "We'll send you two gloves if you want, and that's it." It is to be expected that Gervonta Davis will be the one who will falter in this debate, and the Saudi millions and the desire to be part of the biggest events will force him to change his decision.
Turki Alalshikh, the initiator of the organization of major boxing events in Saudi Arabia, is not one to give up. He is very aware of the financial leverage and prestige his country has in the world of boxing. The exchange between Alalshikh and Davis underscores Saudi Arabia's determination not to tolerate public disrespect or the imposition of conditions by individual boxers.
Although they show respect to the fighters and personally invite them to perform by offering millions, the Saudis still do not allow disrespect, no matter how successful and popular the fighter is. The match between Beterbiev and Bivol, together with the ambitious '5 vs.
5', promises to be a historic night for boxing fans around the world. The rapid rise of Saudi Arabia in the boxing empire has added a new dimension to this sport, we are currently experiencing a new chapter of boxing as a sport.