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Saudi Arabia Plotting New Boxing League

By investing in a new boxing league, Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund aims to reshape the sport's landscape and boost the kingdom's global influence.


Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (June 17, 2024) - Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) is currently in discussions with multiple stakeholders in the boxing industry to create a new league, potentially reshaping the sport’s competitive landscape. According to sources familiar with the matter, the PIF aims to invest in a joint venture that would feature more boxing bouts and bring together major sport organizers, potentially valuing the new entity between $4-5 billion.

His Excellency Turki Alalshikh has a vision for the future of boxing.

Major Stakeholders Involved

Leading promoters, including Matchroom Boxing and Golden Boy Promotions, are involved in these discussions. The envisioned venture would see the PIF take a minority stake, bringing various sport organizers under a unified framework. Turki al-Sheikh, a close advisor to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and chairman of the Saudi General Entertainment Authority, has been overseeing the final discussions around this potential deal.

Strategic Vision and Investment

The PIF’s interest in boxing is part of Saudi Arabia's broader Vision 2030 program, spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. This initiative aims to diversify the kingdom's economy away from oil dependency by investing heavily in sports, tourism, and the private sector. Boxing is the latest sport to attract PIF’s investment, following significant deals in golf, Formula 1, and football. The fund is also exploring investments in a new cycling league.

Impact on the Boxing Landscape

Currently, boxing is governed by multiple organizations, including the International Boxing Federation, the World Boxing Association, and the World Boxing Organization and others, each with its own championship rules. A unified league under the PIF could potentially streamline and centralize the sport, offering a new structure for boxing.

Saudi Arabia's Sporting Ambitions

Saudi Arabia has already hosted some of the biggest boxing events in recent years, enhancing its profile as a global sports destination. The country’s investments in sports are aimed at boosting market access, establishing new political and economic networks, and raising global awareness of Saudi Arabia's ongoing transformation.

Upcoming Developments

SURJ Sports Investments, owned by PIF, recently bought a stake in other US sports leagues. Since then, prominent top heavyweights like Oleksandr Usyk, Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury , Joseph Parker, Zhilei Zhang, Daniel Dubois, Agit Kabayel, Deontay Wilder and others have fought in Riyadh, with high-profile attendees like Cristiano Ronaldo further raising the kingdom's sports profile. The final structure of the proposed boxing league is yet to be disclosed, but its potential impact on the sport could be significant.

Saudi Arabia's proactive investment in sports, particularly boxing, signifies its strategic efforts to reshape its economic and cultural landscape, positioning itself as a central hub for international sports events.

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Saudi Arabia
Heavyweight Boxing
Turki Alalshikh
2024-06-17 8:35
2024-07-22 17:44