Turki Alalshikh Is The ‘Face Of Boxing’

April 18, 2024
1 month
Turki Alalshikh Is The 'Face Of Boxing'

Teddy Atlas has said Turki Alalshikh is the ‘Face of Boxing.’

The Saudis have been putting on the biggest fights. Tyson vs Francis Ngannou and Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou have taken place. There are also plans for Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk and Artur Beterbiev vs Dmitry Bivol. Those two undisputed fights are the biggest in boxing, with more big fights expected.

The Saudis have given fighters bigger purses and boxing fans the chance to see the best fights. Questions remain about whether this can transcend to other weight classes. The junior welterweight division is arguably the most competitive weight class at the moment, leaving the Saudis with more goals to target. But for now, Atlas sees Turki Alalshikh as the most influential man in boxing.

Atlas On Turki Alalshikh

“If you’re going to get down to the reality of it, is Canelo the face of boxing? Is Fury the face of boxing? No. Turki Alalshikh is the face of boxing because he’s making all these cards possible,” Atlas said

Alalshikh has shown that he is not simply throwing money at the sport. He has expressed his wish to make Gervonta Davis vs Devin Haney. After urging Al Haymon to make that fight, Davis responded by saying he wanted two Ferraris delivered to his house before he would begin negotiations. Alalshikh responded, stating he would deliver two boxing gloves, showing the Saudis will not be held hostage.

Canelo Alvarez also demanded $150-200 million to fight David Benavidez. The comments were seen as Alvarez trying to price himself out or hint that the Saudis were getting involved. However, reports indicated that the Saudis wanted Benavidez to face the winner of Beterbiev and Bivol. However, the continued involvement by Saudis in boxing could harm the sport.

It takes boxing away from the UK and US fans, who may be unable to travel to the Kingdom. It also creates the narrative that fighters will continue holding out and not make the fights unless they go to Saudi for a higher purse.

Hearn On The Saudis

That could damage boxing at the grassroots level, especially if the Saudis decided to pull the plug on the sport. While that may be the case, Eddie Hearn has spoken about the importance of maintaining boxing in the UK. The Matchroom Boxing promoter, alongside Frank Warren, is one of the leading promoters in making the Saudi fights. But he is still focused on the UK market.

“We have to make sure that major fights happen in England, Ireland, wherever, closer to home. Whether that’s [Katie] Taylor-[Chantelle] Cameron III, whether that’s [Leigh] Wood-[Josh] Warrington, whether that’s [Chris] Eubank-[Conor]Benn, we have to make sure [fights take place in the UK].

“The opportunities to stage major fights in Saudi are there, the cards that we are working on at the moment are incredible. But we do understand that this is our main market. The UK is our main market. We have to make sure that we keep the profile of the sport raised in our country and we do that by great fight nights but also mega great fight nights as well. That’s important,” Hearn stated

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